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Disability community bears the brunt in Zimbabwe

by Daniel Itai, Harare, Zimbabwe
27 Jun 2020 at 10:29hrs | Views
The COVID-19 regulations that have been put by the government have apparently taken a huge toll on People Living With Disabilities (PLWDs) in the southern African country. Many PLWDs are now bearing the brunt of the current lockdown regulations which have made it difficult for them to trade and move.

This has relatively resulted in many PLWDs having to heavily rely on well wishers and their families for support during this precarious moment.

"People with disabilities are facing more critical challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Already they face marginaliaation in society so as they struggle to make ends meet they can not fully access basic needs since the lockdown only see the physically fit doing pressure in race for everything.

The government has tried in some areas its a great stride they have taken in assisting through food aid but to some disability societies they have not reached yet.

Moreso, very little assistance is forthcoming from the civil society as their source of income also got paralysed due to the lockdown period.

We need urgent intervention in addition of nutrition value to the disability community as they are having serious challenges in aquiring food .

Moreover, as a result of COVID-19 we are experiencing more gender based violence mainly verbal and emotional abuse," said Loveness Mainato, director of the Albino Association.

Tsungai Saranadzo, the financial officer at the Zimbabwe National League for the Blind, also cited that PLWDs were going through some financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic but thanked the government and the civil society sector for aiding in their plight.

"The effects of lockdown and COVID-19 have severely eroded the livelihoods of many families with disabilities accross the country. Most of the families earned their incomes from vending.

However, the social welfare is giving out a 50kg bag of maize which is complemented by other humanitarian organisations who are also giving small groceries.

The government and civil societies have done what they can considering the scarce resources regardless, the disability community needs more food and some income generating projects so as to minimise their dependence on well wishers," said Saranadzo.

The southern African country has close to a million PLWDs and with the current economic turmoil that has been exacerbated by COVID-19, the disability community is bearing the brunt.

Source - Daniel Itai, Harare, Zimbabwe