Thursday, 8 November 2007
The effect of Poverty on accidents in Malawi
Most of you will like this one.
For those of you who have been out of Malawi for a few years now know that emergency recovery services are now slightly better in Malawi.There were proper police and fire ambulance vehicles at this accident.
I was driving from my field visit in Chikwawa when I came across this accident which happened at Stella Marris Bridge in Blantyre (see picture).2 Illovo sugar company trucks (fully loaded with sugar) were trying to overtake each other at the bridge when one overturben right at the mid of the bridge and almost fell into the water.The sugar bells very all dispersed everywhere and the sugar was pooling out everywhere.
Within a few minutes a big group of Malawians arrived at the scene(before the police and fire emergency) .To my surprise instead of them trying to help the truck driver who was stuck in the car and hanging over the stream of water (almost ready to fall i n the water) people were concentrating on getting the sugar. for this accident ,it was a jackpot for the poor people to get free sugar.It was only after the police arrived that the man was rescued.within half an hour all the loose sugar bells were was gone.But what was interesting to me was that people started over the sugar that was on the ground mixed with the sand.
Some people almost fell into the river while collecting sugar into their basins(see picture) . Believe me some people stated drinking the water in the river which was full of sugar that had ended in the water as they believed it was sweet.Do you that this river is a dirty river with all the hospital waiste from Queen Elizabeth Central hospital where I work ?
I believe most of these people eventually ended up with bad diarrhoea.
The truck needed a crane to be pooled back into the road;it took a long time for this to be achieved.
Next time you drive in Malawi be careful;there will no one to save you after an accident but people will get all your possessions.
So what's the effect ?Accidents do make rich people suffer but make poor people rich.