Samalani Charity Organisation
We are about to start a charity called Samalani. The charity aims to reduce accidents on roads and waterways in Malawi.
Malawi is amongst the countries with the highest road traffic casualties per 100,000 population in the world, and the second highest in Africa. This contributes to the sad statistics that Malawi has the second-highest mortality rate in Africa for any cause in the 15-59 age group and the highest in the 60+ age group (source: African Development Bank).
The main causes for road traffic accidents are
- lack of traffic education;
- lack of visibility of vehicles and pedestrians (faulty lights, missing reflectors, etc.)
- poor driving skills and lack of experience;
- lack of road signs and road lighting;
- potholes and other obstructions forcing vehicles to unsafely change lanes;
- reckless driving, over-speeding, overtaking, tailgating and wrong-way driving;
- intoxicated drivers and pedestrians;
- distractions like phoning, texting, radio tuning, adjusting mirrors, watching billboards or passers-by;
- red light jumping and negligence of road signs such as stop signs;
- driving vehicles that are not road-worthy, for example worn out tires, dysfunctional brakes and ill-adjusted lights;
- driving at night with upper beam headlights, causing other vehicles to be blinded;
- drowsy driving;
- street racing;
- avoiding safety gear such as helmets and safety belts;
- trying to avoid animals on the road;
- slippery roads due to rain or dirt.
Our road traffic programme encompasses in its first phase:
- Road sign courses to address people’s failure to understand road signs and traffic regulations;
- Courses to promote anticipatory driving competence as an alternative to defensive driving;
- Distribution of reflective vests to all road users;
- Distribution and fixing of rear red reflex reflectors;
- Distribution of reflective collars for animals;
- Distribution of high-visibility vests;
- Distribution of warning triangles;
- Painting and maintenance of reflective road marks, pole marks and pedestrian crossings;
- Installation and maintenance of traffic signs in compliance with international norms.
Besides, we will address safety issues on lakes and waterways. Measures will include
- swimming lessons to users of lakes and waterways;
- distribution of reflective life vests with lights and whistles;
- distribution of watertight mobile phones.
Please note that we are looking for volunteers who are willing to contribute their time and passion to our cause.