People in the country have been urged to refrain from doing their businesses along the country’s roadsides in order to prevent road accidents.
This was said at the commemoration of African Road Safety Day which was set by the African Union Assembly in 2012 and falls on every third Sunday of November to raise awareness on road Safety and to reduce traffic accident casualties.
This year’s commemoration was held on Saturday at Machinga community ground in Machinga district and it was presided over by the deputy minister of transport and public works Nancy Chaola Mdooko.
This year’s theme for the commemoration was “Stop Roadside Vending, Save Lives” in line with pillar number 4 of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action on Road Safety.
Speaking at the commemoration, Mdooko said the Malawi government is working tirelessly to deal with the alarming rate of road accidents which she said mostly occur due carelessness of road users.
She further worried about the tendency of roadside vending claiming it’s becoming rampant despite several accidents which claimed several lives which she said should have been a stern warning to all doing their business along roads side.
Mdooko then asked the public to immediately stop doing their businesses on roadsides with the aim of saving lives.
“We are commemorating the Africa road safety day, so as the theme states we really need to stop roadside vending with the aim of saving lives. As government it’s our plea that people should follow this year’s theme.
“But we have noted that the most important thing for this to be possible, there is need for mindset change amongst the citizenry because there have already been these messages before but still more people choose roadside vending which is very dangerous,” said Mdooka.
In her speech, deputy director of Department of Road Traffic and Safety Services Annie Kandoje said they are now cooperating with relevant authorities on how they can intensify patrols aimed at enforcing roadside vendors to do their businesses in their designated markets.
Kandoje said people doing roadside vending should always know that they are putting their lives at risk of being hit .
She mentioned the Kampepuza accident in Ntcheu where 21 roadside vendors were hit to death by a truck.
Before the commemoration, the deputy minister visited Machinga district hospital where she donated some items to over 20 road accident victims