Over 347 people have died in motorcycle accidents in three years since 2019, with the Ministry of Transport indicating that there has been an average increase of 342 percent in the accidents between 2015 and 2021.
In recent years, Malawi has witnessed an increase in the number of motorcycle taxis, commonly known as kabaza, which has also resulted in the rise of road accidents, according to officials.
Minister of Transport Jacob Hara said 79 people lost their lives in 2019 whilst 124 and 144 people died in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
He delivered a ministerial statement in Parliament on Friday where he indicated that in 2014, Malawi registered 71 “crashes” involving motorcycles, but that the numbers drastically rose in 2015.
Hara said the country has been overwhelmed by an influx of motorcycles and that there have been road-safety challenges despite interventions by enforcement agencies.
Health rights activist Maziko Matemba corroborated the sentiments in a separate interview that the health sector is being overwhelmed by accidents.
Matemba has urged relevant State actors to enforce road regulations “because the accidents result in more demand for health services and medical supplies including blood”.
Recently, Kamuzu Central Hospital announced that it had registered an increase in road traffic accidents over the years with motorcycles accounting for the largest chunk of the mishaps.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.