Blantyre, Members of the Blantyre District Executive Committee have called on all organisations working in the district to be inclusive of persons with disabilities in their activities.
The call was made Thursday when Hygiene Village Project was introducing a new project that will promote sanitation by among others constructing latrines.
How inclusive is this project to persons with disabilities because the pictures shown do not show that they are accommodated? asked Lyness Manduwa, Research Officer at the Federation of Disability Organisations of Malawi (Fedoma).
Manduwa said it is important for persons with disabilities to be included in all projects because it is their birth right.
Persons with disabilities are also citizens of Malawi. They have to be included in each and every development that is taking place in Malawi. Otherwise, if we are left out, it means we cannot contribute hence we cannot access the same, said Manduwa.
She said in the case of hygiene, it is very important to everyone, including persons with disabilities.
Hygiene and sanitation is part of life. So, water points, latrines, schools and villages have to be accessible to persons with disabilities, Manduwa observed.
Blantyre District Environmental Health Officer, Mustapha Maulidi said the project office has much to say on the design of the latrines to be constructed in schools.
How are the school latrines going to be inclusive of learners with disabilities as the project office is responsible for the designs of these pit latrines? queried Maulidi.
Hygiene Village Project Officer, Ernest Maganga promised that as a project, they will advise communities to be inclusive of all groups of people including people with disabilities.
We are using UNICEF standards which are accommodative in latrine construction. However, it may not be 100 percent but we promise to be sensitive to the needs of people with disabilities at all levels of the project, said Maganga.
Hygiene Village Project is implementing a 15 month project called Increasing Access to WASH services in Mangochi and Blantyre Districtswith funding amounting to MWK272,277,436 from UNICEF.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA