Disabled want more

HARARE - People living with disabilities have described the US$500 000 that was allocated to improve infrastructure in public buildings as insufficient, saying that the government should do more to improve accessibility.

Most buildings in the country are not disability-friendly and last week the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled met with the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and made it known that they were not happy with the government’s approach to their plight.

The meeting, which took place hard on the heels of Finance Minister Tendai Bitis budget statement, saw the Director General of SAFD, Alexander Phiri, experiencing firsthand the inaccessibility of the Government’s Munhumutapa offices. “The money that Biti gave us is peanuts. I expected Biti to give a huge amount towards people with disabilities and he did not do that,” said Phiri who is based in Bulawayo.

In his statement Biti admitted that the amount was not much, but described the US$500 000 as a “small stating point” towards the provision of suitable toilet facilities for people living with disabilities in all government offices.

The National Association for the Care of the Handicapped (NASCOH) said that 10 per cent of the country’s population live with disability. Even though there is a Disability Act the laws has not been enforced, and this has seen the continued exclusion of the disabled from mainstream activities.

“We demand proper regulation so that our needs will be respected. Imagine the disabled are given only US$20 per month. Countries like South Africa have allowances for people with disabilities which are meaningful,” said Phiri.

Post published in: News

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