MACOHA Set to Distribute Assistive Devices to Cyclone Freddy Survivors with Disabilities

Kachimanga told Zodiak on Monday that some of the lost devices included wheelchairs Kachimanga told Zodiak on Monday that some of the lost devices included wheelchairs - pic by Harriet Kachimanga

The Malawi Council for the Handicapped, (MACOHA) has indicated that out of over 47, 000 persons with disabilities that were affected by cyclone Freddy, more than 4, 000 of them lost their assistive devices.

MACOHA spokesperson Harriet Kachimanga told Zodiak on Monday that some of the lost devices included wheelchairs, hearing aids, white canes, sun glasses and clutches.

“There have been no deliberate efforts by the mainstream stakeholders to capture and identify persons with disabilities that were affected by the cyclone as most data is not segregated.

"The loss of assistive devices like wheelchairs has decreased the mobility and independent life of those affected citizens,” said Kachimanga.

She added that it is worrisome that despite humanitarian actors working with the government in responding to protection concerns including child protection, mental health, psycho social support among others, none of the efforts are specifically targeting persons with disabilities.

Meanwhile, MACOHA has secured a funding of 33 million kwacha to support the affected persons with assistive devices.

“MACHOHA has rolled out a cyclone Freddy disaster response project for persons with disabilities with funding from Christian Blind mission targeting those that lost their assistive devices during the cyclone in Nsanje, Blantyre and Mulanje,” she explained

One such person is a 45 year old man Malaya Dyson from Muleno village in TA Ndamera in Nsanje who is currently being housed at Jimu camp. The man said his tricycle was damaged on 9 March 2023 as he is also facing a litany of difficulties to take care of his family.

This comes when government and development partners have been implementing various activities to minimise challenges that the cyclone freddy survivors are experiencing.

Some of them include constructing resilient houses for the victims, distribution of food and non-food items and rehabilitating roads.

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