By Moses Masiye
While people with disabilities rely on organisations that stand for their rights, this blogger can confirm that some in Malawi’s Balaka district are facing hell following withholding of wheelchairs for almost two years by Malawi council for the handicapped (MACOHA), taken for repair.
Speaking through councilor for persons with disabilities for Balaka district Godfrey Chinkhota, the people complained that life is unbearable for them to go back to crawling, after long time reliance of a wheelchair.
“This is negatively affecting daily life, hence they relied on these wheel chairs for income generating activities, but now it is almost impossible,” said Chinkhota.
He said he has tried all efforts to speak to council officials on behalf of the concerned, only to be told of poor funding as the main reason to the delayed repairing of the devices.
MACOHA assistant rehabilitation officer for Balaka Denis Ngaiyaye confirmed the delay in an interview with this blog, citing inadequate funding as the main cause.
He said:- “Some wheelchairs were indeed taken in 2013 under community based rehabilitation project, funded by Norwegian association for the disabled, but failed to give repair them due inadequate funding.”
Ngaiyaye however said some of the wheel chairs are almost repaired and will be returned to owners soon.
He admitted that the period is indeed too long, and that has negatively affected the people.
Chinkhota on the other hand said there are many people in need of wheel chairs and other devices, thus asked for other well-wishers to come in, without solely banking all hopes on MACOHA and government.