PEOPLE living with disabilities (PLWD) in Makonde district say they are struggling to make ends meet, due to lack of support from government and other well-wishers.
BY NHAU MANGIRAZI
Forty seven-year-old Makanyara Magunje, who is wheelchair-bound and a mother of two, said PLWD were no longer receiving food handouts like they used to get in the past, while others were struggling to pay school fees for their children.
“Most of us are being side-lined when it comes to distribution of food hand-outs within Makonde. Our local leadership does not care to assist us,” she said.
“My eldest son is in Form Two and we are battling to raise school fees as he is not catered for by the Basic Education Assistance Module, Beam.
Furthermore, we need food every day that is hard to get. We have not been getting food assistance of late.”
Magunje said to end the cycle of poverty facing PLWD, there was need to start income generating projects to enable them to sustain their families instead of depending on hand-outs.
She said they were also struggling to get sanitary wear and no longer enjoyed free transportation.
Mary Poruvende who is local coordinator for the vulnerable in the area confirmed that many of disabled have been side-lined of late.
‘This is a challenge as generally food hand-outs are selective of the vulnerable said apart from the disabled; the elderly and child-headed families were also not being catered for during food distribution.
Headman Rodrick Musiiwa said women were not being given their voice in the community.
“As traditional leaders we fail short on government programmes on food distribution, but the disabled are affected when it comes to food distribution. We are facing critical food shortages here and they have not been spared,” he said.