Mary Manu, a 15-year-old girl, has birthed the development of a device that could help lessen the bloodshed on Ghana’s roadways.
In 2019, the Aflao-Tema highway, which has claimed many lives, saw Mary’s father, who, by no fault of his, got killed in a terrible head-on collision after a sleepy driver carelessly hit his car.
This tragic news left young Mary sad and in a horrible state of disarray after she realized she had been robbed of the chance to enjoy the physical presence of her father.
“I lost my dad in a road accident. The report said that the driver who caused the accident was dozing off. My father was traveling from Togo to Ghana with a few friends. A car was speedily coming towards their car. They tried to dodge the car, but unfortunately, the car collided, and that’s how my father sadly passed away,” she told Joy Prime.
Mary, although she still had her mother, still felt pained as the big void in her heart could only be filled by her father. The accident stole the young lady’s source of joy and left her with a heavy load of traumatic experiences.
She was affected by her father’s tragic death so much that she envied her classmates at school whenever they walked in with their fathers. Longing to have her father again made focusing on her studies difficult.
“After I heard the news of my father’s tragic death through accident, I decided to stop schooling because my father was my favorite person in the world, and without him, I’m nothing. When I go to school and see my friends’ dads bringing them to school, I start to cry, or I decide to pick up my schoolbag and go home. It hasn’t been easy since I lost my dad. It’s been 3 years, but when I see other people with their dad, I still feel sad,” she said.
As if that were not enough, Mary’s scars were pierced by another tragic accident. Her seven-year-old brother was also killed by a speeding vehicle two years after her father’s death.
This incident struck a chord, birthing Mary’s hunger to become a surgeon. According to her, achieving this dream will make her happy as it will allow her to save lives.
“I promised my mom that I would never allow anyone in my family to go through that again. I want to achieve this to help everyone who wants to be operated on to be free from injuries so that we can promote healthy living so families can live together without losing anyone of their loved ones through accidents,” she further stated.
Indeed, in the darkness emerged a story of resilience and hope.
Mary found strength in her grief as she and her colleagues of young innovators through the Ghana Science and Tech Explorer Prize Challenge (GSTEP) decided to quickly grasp the chance to reduce and mitigate the carnage on Ghana’s roads with their prototype.
The recounted that when GSTEP came to their schools and asked if they had anything they wanted to invent, she and her friends decided to design a motor and car accident control device. The name of the device is Anti-sleep alarm for motorists.
“This device alerts drivers when they are dozing off while driving. It has an eye blink sensor that coordinates the eye and detects when the driver is dozing off. It has a buzzer that beeps to wake the driver up from sleep.
If the driver fails to wake up, the device has been designed and programmed to automatically slow the vehicle down and send the driver’s GPS location to an emergency contact,” she explained.
According to data from the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, road accidents increased by 5.5 percent in 2023, raising serious safety concerns.
Mary believes their project, when given the needed attention, could help reduce the incidents of the carnage on our roads.
Mary may have lost her dear ones to a road accident, but she and her teammates are resolute in changing the narrative with their invention.
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