Exclusion of people with disability worries MACOHA

Malawi disability

Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA) says exclusion of people with disabilities in development projects by government and development partners continues to be on the rise in the country.

According to the organisation, even though Malawi ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability in 2009 there is credible evidence to suggest that disability issues do not feature in most development policies such as Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP).

Malawi disability
People living with disabilities keep having troubles.(File)

MACOHA’s Dowa District project supervisor, Billy Maupa, said the world report on disability stresses the need to address poverty and ensure that people with disabilities are involved in and benefit from policy initiatives aimed at poverty reduction.

He said development partners view disability as a separate issue from mainstream development and therefore do not feel obliged to include disability issues in their development plans.

According to Maupa, people with disabilities in the district are facing a number of challenges such as infrastructures which are not disability friendly, very few benefit from Social Cash Transfer Program (SCTP) as well as   limited resource films and teachers in their schools.

“People with disabilities are perpetually marginalised as such they remain poor without getting disability issues on the PRSP agenda which will be very difficult indeed to achieve MDGs,” Maupa explained.

He went on to say that the organisation runs program components for disability issues such as Education, Health,  Empowerment and Social component in the district whereby 6 Area Development Committees of the district have persons with disabilities represented except for one, Msakambewa.

He then urged the council, NGOs, Government departments, community at large to come up with deliberate efforts to incorporate persons with disabilities in their activities.

Maupa also asked the council to come up with a certain percentage to represent the disadvantaged which include persons with disabilities when it comes to selection of beneficiaries for various programs.