Low Funding Crippling Social Welfare Services

Underfunding is said to be crippling efforts by the Rumphi District Social Welfare Office to reach out with help to people disabilities and the elderly.

District social welfare officer Zindaba Lungu told participants at an orientation of district council officers on disability and elderly programmes by the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare that her office gets funding of about K4 million from government annually to implement all its activities.

According to Lungu, the funds are not enough to conduct routine activities for the office.

"Some of the activities the office is supposed to be doing are to provide school support for children with disabilities and collection of data for the number of people with disabilities in the district, but we are unable to carry out these due to inadequate resources," lamented Lungu.

Disability programme officer Charles Blaimu says, despite being underfunded, the office is making sure that people with disabilities and the elderly are reached out.

Blaimu further states that the ministry has observed that most of the councils in the country are not including people with disabilities and the elderly when planning for their annual programs.

"I should admit here that local councils are not directly involving people with disabilities and the elderly in their plans, as a result, they are failing to properly deliver services to government expectations," said Blaimu. 

Responding to the funding issue, Blaimu advised councils to use few available resources to make sure that people with disabilities and the elderly benefit.

Up to 11.6 percent of Malawi's population are people with disabilities.

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