Projects snubbing persons with disabilities

Dzaleka refugee camp

Malawi Council for Handicapped (MACOHA) has said persons with disabilities inside the Dzaleka camp in Dowa district are not benefiting from projects being implemented at the camp.

Dowa District Rehabilitation Officer for Macoha Billy Maupa noted that this is happening even though in their proposals implementers of projects claim that they help persons with disabilities.

Dzaleka refugee camp
Persons with disabilities inside Dzaleka camp worried.

Maupa said every time he goes into the camp, he receives complaints from persons with disabilities a development which shows that they are not benefiting from the programs and their presence is being exploited by organisations.

Speaking during a District Executive Council committee meeting held at the Dowa boma, Maupa appealed to organisations to look at persons with disabilities as people who are also contributing to the country’s development and not as enemies of development because of their disabilities.

Maupa said persons with disabilities can deliver if given a chance hence a great need for them to participate in the improving self-reliance and livelihoods project which is being implemented in the camp.

He lamented that most of the structures built inside the camp are not disability friendly saying this is making them suffer exclusions as if they are not citizens too.

The Churches and Action in Relief and Development (CARD) with support from UNHCR has been implementing Improving Self-reliance and Livelihoods Project since 2016. Ten percent of the funding for the project is allocated to persons with disabilities as beneficiaries.

In his response, CARDs’ camp project coordinator Arnold Nthala said it is the wish of CARD and the UNHCR to see to it that persons with disabilities are taking part in the project.

Nthala added that the beneficiary criteria selection of the targeted people for the project is based on households and not individuals as one can think.

“Application forms have been placed for all to fill and from this 10% of persons with disabilities will be taken on board,” he said.

The officer assured the DEC members that a recruitment taskforce from representatives of community leaders, zonal and local leaders composed of the refugees, asylum seekers and hosts community will work together to see to it that the process has successfully been done in the camp.

The 5 year project of Improving Self-Reliance and Livelihoods is for the refugees and the host community at the Dzaleka Refugees camp in the district.