Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi (Fedoma) says it is confident that Parliament will pass the revised Disability Bill during the next parliamentary sittings to necessitate the implementation of a Disability Trust Fund.
Fedoma executive council chairperson Anitta Hanjahanja said this yesterday in Lilongwe at a press briefing to mark the launch of the annual Disability Awareness Month which runs from November 3 to December 3.
She said the country has made great strides this year in the disability sector such as the launch of the National Coordinating Committee on Disability Issues, the National Disability Mainstreaming Strategy and reviewing the old Disability Act.
Hanjahanja said the achievements were in line with this year’s Disability Awareness theme which is Empowering People With Disabilities in Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality.
However, she said people with disabilities still face discrimination, exploitation and limited access to skills training.
Hanjahanja said: “We expect the Bill to be discussed in the next Parliament and soon after it is passed, we expect the immediate implementation of the Disability Trust Fund. The passing of this Bill will ensure that people with disabilities recognise their full economic and developmental potential.”
On her part, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Jean Kalilani said the Bill has been updated to address certain gaps that existed in the old act such as the Trust Fund.
She said the fund will be set up to provide facilities, equipment and services for the sector to further empower people with disabilities.
Kalilani said: “We have addressed previous issues that were in the Bill, mostly those concerning the Disability Trust Fund. We hope it will be discussed in the next Parliament as the Trust Fund is something that is needed if we are to further develop the disability sector.”
Parliament is set to meet from the 19th of this month for its last session this year.