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Fedoma calls for progress on Disability Trust Fund

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Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi (Fedoma) through its Mulanje District Disability Forum has appealed to government to speed up plans of assisting people with disabilities through the Disability Trust Fund.

Parliament passed the Disability Bill on May 24, 2012 which provides for the establishment of the Disability Trust Fund whose money shall be drawn from the disability levy established for the purpose of supporting programmes aimed at mainstreaming disability issues and promoting inclusion.

But four years down the line, nothing has been done according to Bertha Malaya Ngalande who is Chairperson for Mulanje Disability Forum.

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The Act requires the introduction of a national sign language.

According to Ngalande, lives of people with disabilities in Mulanje District have not been easy due to financial problems that prevent them from doing small businesses for their survival.

“Though we do not know much about the Disability Trust Fund, I feel once rolled out, it can change many lives of people with disabilities in Mulanje and other districts.

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“My plea to government is they should speed up the process so that lives of people with disabilities are supported. As I speak, many people here are farmers but cannot access fertilizer,” she said.

Ngalande was speaking to journalists who are members of Media Forum for Disability that visited Mulanje on Thursday during a tour that was organised as part of the International Disability Day that will be commemorated later within the year.

Fedoma Executive Director, Action Amos, said in an interview that his organisation is engaging government in several ways to ensure the rolling out of the fund.

Amos said Fedoma has a lot of work to do on the matter and will get more answers during the celebrations of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in a couple of weeks.

“I can agree that many people with disabilities are not familiar with the Disability Trust Fund which was enacted into law in 2012. What has happened so far is that we have managed to simplify the Act so that many people with disabilities can understand it,” he said.

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