The Minister for Transport and Public Works, important road safety officials and NGO Road Safety Alert Foundation (RSAF) unite in their commitment to reduce road crash fatalities and injuries in Malawi. Included in picture: Kingston Sandula, Director of Road Traffic (holding Street for Life sign), The Hon. Jacob Hara, Minister for Transport and Public Works (holding Commit to Act sign) and Joel Jere, Chairman and Founder, RSAF (holding Love 30km/h sign) (Image source: RSAF).
Last week, Malawi committed to improve its road infrastructure safety at the UN High-level Meeting on Road Safety in New York. We were pleased to meet on Tuesday with NGO Road Safety Alert Foundation to discuss how iRAP can support them and local partners to eliminate high-risk roads.
During his National Statement at the High-level Meeting, The Hon. Jacob Hara MP, Minister for Transport and Public Works, Malawi said:
“I am honoured to lead the Malawi Delegation to the UN High-level Meeting on Road Safety under the delegation of the President, Dr Chakwera. Road accidents are the number 1 killer among young men claiming 35,000 lives each day globally. 90% of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Africa, despite having 2% of the global vehicle population is the worst hit. Poor road infrastructure and driver behaviour are the most common causes of the accidents in Malawi, reducing up to 3% of our GDP. I have committed the nation towards safer roads to reduce road carnage by at least 50% by the year 2030. Among others, we will be:
- Limiting speeds up to 30km/h in built up areas along main roads and all one way streets in cities;
- Enhancing road safety in our road designs to include cyclist lanes and pedestrian walk ways in cities and build up areas;
- Working towards the establishment of the Road Safety Authority to regulate traffic safety in Malawi;
- Reducing acceptable alcohol levels from 0.08 to 0.05g/210ml for drinking drivers; and
- Reviewing minimum requirements for vehicles imported in the country to have at least an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS).
We cannot afford to compromise vulnerable lives on our roads over any drivers’ rights.”
The Hon. Jacob Hara, Minister for Transport and Public Works presents Malawi’s National Statement at the UN High-level Meeting
on 30 June (Image source: UN WebTV).
iRAP wrote to President Chakwera in February to encourage his participation in the High-level Meeting and Malawi’s implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 to save lives.
Using iRAP’s letter, Joel Jere, Chairman and Founder of the Road Safety Alert Foundation met with Minister Hara and important road safety stakeholders ahead of the High-level Meeting.
He handed over the Global Plan and echoed his encouragement for its implementation in the country.
Joel Jere, Road Safety Alert Foundation hands over the Global Plan to The Hon. Jacob Hara, Minister for Transport and Public Works (Image source: RSAF).
We congratulate Minister Hara for his statement at the High-level Meeting and Malawi’s commitment to make their roads and speeds safer.
The Government is now developing Malawi’s 2030 Strategic Plan aligned to the Global Plan for the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety.
According to iRAP’s Vaccines for Roads Big Data Tool, more than 5,600 people are killed or seriously injured in road crashes each year in Malawi at a cost of USD$404 million to the economy (WHO, 2015).
Achieving UN Targets 3 and 4 for greater than 75% of travel on 3-star or better roads for all road users in the country by 2030 stands to save 2,473 lives every year with an economic benefit of USD$3.1 billion – $15 benefit for every $1 spent.