People with disabilities (PWDs) in Nsanje District have asked authorities and community leaders to include them in social safety net programmes to be economically independent.
They made the call yesterday on the sidelines of a debate organised by Caring for Persons with Disabilities at Mpatsa Teacher Development Centre in Senior Chief Tengani’s area.
Wisted Dishoni, 49, from Nkhuku Village, alleged that authorities sidelined them in social work programmes.
He said: “I am visually impaired, but I was left out of Affordable Inputs Programme [AIP] last season, yet I cannot raise money to buy fertiliser and seeds.”
Dishoni also complained that he is not under Social Cash Transfer Programme; hence, finds it hard to raise money for his family.
Another PWD, Faluweza Makani, 48, from Khalapanja Village, said they are not considered for employment.
“This makes school leavers of different forms of disabilities stay idle,” he said.
Tengani Area Development Committee chairperson Benjamin Nsongera asked non-governmental organisations to bring more projects to include many PWDs as one way of empowering them economically.
Malawi Council for the Handicapped Nsanje district rehabilitation officer Fred Mazoko admitted that only few PWDs benefitted from AIP.
“Out of 4 199 PWDs in the district, only 200 are on Social Cash Transfer,” he said.
Caring for Persons with Disabilities project officer Sungani Chitandale said they want to empower PWDs economically by training them in various skills.
With funding from Spotlight Initiative, the organisation is implementing Inclusive Efforts in Promotion of Economic Empowerment for Marginalised Women and Girls Project in the district.