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34 Visibility project for rural communities
  1. Maatla Energy Otsogile
  1. Society of Road Safety Ambassadors, Gaborone, Botswana

Abstract

Despite increasing motorization in Botswana, the donkey cart is still the main means of transport in the rural areas and is used on a daily basis for transporting children to and from schools, community members to work, clinics and farms as well as for basic livelihoods such as access to access water, fuel wood. However, Increasing motorization,has made these transport modes unsafe, in both urban and rural areas, and worse, the needs of these road users are routinely omitted from the designs of road improvements as most of the roads have no special provision for donkey carts, making their users vulnerable.We had observed that most donkey carts lacked the basic safety equipment of adequate reflectors, bells and lights.One of the most dangerous times is early evening, with fading light and inadequate street lighting when donkey carts users are difficult to see, particularly if they are in dark clothes.Hence this initiative involved the supply and fitting of reflective tapes on donkey carts.when the project began four five ago, there were 666 donkey carts with reflective tape in three rural villages along the busy A1 Highway. The program has since grown to 2876 donkey carts in 12 communities, and now also includes bicycles that use reflective tape. The program has made a tremendous difference Crashes involving donkey carts dropped from 299 during the year before the project to 176 the following year —a reduction of more than 40% in five rural villages along A1 Highway.

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