MACOHA advocates for inclusion of people with disabilities

Nsanje, Malawi Council for the Handicapped (MACOHA) has reiterated the need for different partners to include people with disability in planning and preparedness for disaster risk reduction in a bid to minimize vulnerability during natural disasters.

MACOHA Executive Director, Peter Ngomwa made the call on Tuesday in Nsanje when the organization embarked on a K33 million floods recovery intervention with funding from Hope Healing International organization of Canada.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) after making the donation at Nyachilenda and Bangula camps in the district to those with disabilities and without, he stressed the need to consider people with disability in planning for disasters.

Ngomwa observed that during natural disasters like floods, specific needs of people with disabilities are often overlooked, leaving such group of people vulnerable and unprotected

During natural disasters, the daily inequalities that people with disability face are amplified. Being the first to be left behind and the last to be rescued, their right to protection and safety are often denied, he said.

The Executive Director added that, To find out how to fulfill these needs, practical solutions should come from people with disabilities themselves. To do so, they should be included in all phases of planning, response to recovery.

Commenting on the flood response, Ngomwa said MACOHA is targeting over 600 households in six districts which heavily affected by the floods in March, out of whom, 70 per cent were people with disabilities.

In an attempt to achieve inclusiveness, MACOHA is targeting both those with disabilities and those without. 70 percent of the support will go to people with disabilities while the remaining 30 percent with go to the rest without disabilities, he said.

One of the beneficiaries at Nyachilenda Camp, Noah Kamasho thanked MACOHA for the support, describing it as timely.

Some of the relief items being distributed by MACOHA include; flour, cooking oil, salt and plastic buckets.

Source: MANA Online