6 December 2018

Malawi: Report Unveils the Plight of Persons With Disability

Lilongwe — Parliamentary report by the Committee on Social and Community Affairs has revealed that persons with disabilities are still being sidelined in various sectors in the country.

Presenting the report in Parliament on Wednesday, chairperson for the committee, Richard Chimwendo said this was revealed during the consultative meeting with FEDOMA in august, 2018.

Chimwendo said through interaction, the committee noted that disability issues remain ignored even though they cut across every section of the nation with 15 per cent of Malawians living with disabilities.

"Levels of integration and accessibility in everyday life remain limited and the situation is worsened by the general lack of understanding and prioritisation of disability issues among the general population," said Chimwendo.

He said to address this, FEDOMA is currently working in partnership with government ministries so as to ensure that they mainstream disability as part of their national and district plans and that disability issues are factored in their annual budgets to make all their services disability friendly.

Chimwendo added that as a committee, they are worried about the issues highlighted in the report and therefore urged the executive branch of government to act with speed.

"We also call upon the entire country to change our attitude towards issues of disability .We find that there is general lack of sensitivity to the participation of persons with disabilities in socioeconomic affairs of the country," he said.

"We need to ensure that we give them a platform for active enjoyment of their rights because in the absence of these, we stand to be judged as a nation as to what we have done to help the most vulnerable segment of the society," he added.

Mangochi South West MP, Justin Majawa, supported the report, saying the issues it touched really affect those with disabilities.

"We see a lot of people in town who are disabled but instead of helping them, we call them names and never concentrate on how we can assist them," he said.

He added that the nation needs to do more on the issue of disability, adding that the report has a target list and change has to be made.

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