People with disability sidelined from receiving aid in cyclone Idai-ravaged Chimanimani

CHIMANIMANI – People living with disabilities in the Cyclone Idai
ravaged Chimanimani district say they are being sidelined from receiving relief aid.
This came out during a meeting involving people living with
disabilities and Justice Legal Officers convened by the United Nations
Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held at Ngangu
in Chimanimani on Friday.
The meeting was aimed at discussing disability rights inclusion in
justice system programming.
In an interview on the sidelines of the meeting the chairman of
Chimanimani Disability Group Tapiwa Sigauke lamented that people
living with disabilities in the district have been sidelined on
receiving relief aid.
“As you know we were all affected by Cyclone Idai. But what is paining
us is that we are being ignored when it comes to receiving food aid
among others. We do not know the reasons why
,” he said.
“We have a larger number of people living with disabilities who
require assistance but sadly they have not been getting any. We are
now appealing to the responsible authorities to consider us in getting
the relief aid,
” Sigauke said.
Due to some various physical impairments, some of our members are not able to walk to where the food aid and other relief is being
distributed. So we are calling for fair distribution of the relief aid
and also to prioritise us considering our situation,
” he added.
The secretary for the group, Patience Machekano, said women and girls
with disabilities are finding difficulties in accessing sanitary pads.
Cyclone Idai has brought more harm to us as women with disabilities.
It has worsened our situation. Women and girls are finding it very
difficult to access sanitary pads. Those that are available in shops
are very expensive and the majority cannot afford to purchase them
,”
she said.
We are appealing for assistance regarding this issue,” said Machekano.
The Assistant Administrator for Chimanimani district Lloyd Kasima who
is also the District Development Coordinator said they had noted the
concerns of the people with disabilities.
We have noted their concerns and we are definitely going to assist
them. We are going to update the data base of the people living with
disabilities in Chimanimani district so that we can have the exact
figures and see how best we can assist them,”
he said.
We admit that they have been sidelined and this meeting has helped in highlighting their issues, which we are going to look at positively,”
Kasima said.
Addressing at the meeting, Tafadzwa Muvingi who is the Programme
Specialist for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said
people with disabilities must be considered in all programmes.
It is very important to respect the rights of the people living with
disabilities. They should have access to food aid and relief. It is
important to have the people living with disabilities participate in
various programmes. Let’s us be inclusive and let them contribute on
disability issues,”
she said.

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