Lilongwe, President Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika has donated 1,600 security gadgets to the Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (APAM) as one way of ensuring the smooth implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) for Persons with Albinism.
During a meeting that President Mutharika hosted at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe in February this year, the president vowed to protect people with albinism in any way possible and one of the things he made was a promise to buy the security gadgets and an immediate release of K3.1 billion towards implementation of the NAP.
Out of the K3.1 billion, K250 million has already been released to various stakeholders for implementation of the NAP.
Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Cecilia Chazama who launched the security gadgets in Lilongwe on Friday said the donation signifies commitment from the top level which all stakeholders should emulate.
She was grateful for the gesture saying there are several measures required to address the issue and the donation signifies one of such measures.
As a ministry we are very grateful because in implementing the National Action Plan, there are several measures, several strides which have to be put in place which the Ministry is endeavoring to do. So the gift of the security gadgets is part of that process, said Chazama.
Last week APAM received another donation of 120 security gadgets from friends of the United Kingdom (UK).
In addition to the donated gadgets, government would like to ensure that each person with albinism has one and as such procurement process for the gadgets is in place.
We are saying that for sustainability we are concerned as Malawians that why should somebody walk with a security gadget but we have to do this to protect them. We have to ensure that they are able to go to church, to socialize, to go to school for their own security, she said.
Asked on the distribution process, Chazama said the gadgets will be distributed in all the regions of the country through criteria to be advised by APAM as well as the Federation of Persons with Disabilities in Malawi (FEDOMA), an umbrella body for persons with disabilities organizations.
It is expected that the Ministry will meet with APAM and FEDOMA Tuesday next week to map the way forward on the distribution process of the gadgets.
According to Chazama, distribution will start by Wednesday.
APAM Acting President, Pamela Juma appreciated the gesture saying the initiative is one of the many in the NAP and will go a long way in ensuring that persons with albinism in the country are offered protection.
She expressed concern that persons with albinism continue to live in fear leading them to be moving with alarms as if they are criminals and yet that is for protection.
Juma, therefore, appealed to the police to be on alert that whenever an alarm is raised they should be able to act with speed.
For the gadgets to work effectively, the people who will be responsible in monitoring should have all the necessary equipment in terms of transportation. They should be reachable so that when an attack is happening or there is danger somewhere and the police are alerted they should be there on time, said Juma.
Meanwhile, government through the Ministry of Gender is in the process of having desk officers, thus people with albinism, who will be monitoring and evaluating how the Ministry is implementing the NAP.
The four year NAP was launched on June 25, 2018 during the commemoration of International Albinism day. It aims at protecting and promoting rights of persons with albinism.
Source: MANA Online