24 November 2017
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Monday, 06 November 2017 12:38

Kalirani inaugurates MACOHA flag week

Written by  Gladys Kamakanda
Gender, Children, Disability and Social welfare  Minister, Jean Kalilani, receives a sticker from a young girl in Lilongwe - Pic by Abel Ikiloni Gender, Children, Disability and Social welfare Minister, Jean Kalilani, receives a sticker from a young girl in Lilongwe - Pic by Abel Ikiloni

Lilongwe, November 6, 2017: Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Dr Jean Kalirani on Monday inaugurated the 2017 Malawi Council for Handicapped (MACOHA) Flag Week, donating K300, 000 towards the cause.

During the function, she also presented a cheque donation from President Professor Peter Mutharika worth MK1 million towards the cause at the inauguration ceremony that took place at the Central Office of Information (COI).  

Besides her own donation, the minister also bought the flag at K26, 000.

Speaking at the ceremony, she said the Government of Malawi is committed to uplift lives of persons with disabilities in this country.

“This is the reason why government has put in place policies and laws so that persons with disabilities, like any other person, enjoy their rights.

“The government will, therefore, not tolerate any acts that will discriminate or limit persons with disabilities’ participation in national development activities,” she said.

She said it was pleasing to learn that the theme for this year’s Flag Week focuses on the importance of Agriculture in improving the livelihood of persons with disabilities.

Kalirani said that indeed the agriculture sector has been central for the country’s economy from time immemorial, as such, if persons with disabilities are to be partners development and are to move out of poverty, the country has to make sure they are meaningfully included.

“We need to come up with agricultural innovations that are disability-friendly so that persons with disabilities play their roles.

“My ministry is therefore pledging to support irrigation schemes that are being managed by persons with disabilities in the country by engaging the line Ministry of Agriculture. We want improvements in these schemes so that they can be producing for commercial purposes. I believe that the schemes would be producing enough crops if they are properly supported,” said Kalirani.

She requested the existing farm cubs and any other agricultural initiatives in the country to make sure that they are meaningfully including persons with disabilities.

Kalirani called upon all stakeholders in the agriculture sector and others to join the government by supporting the irrigation schemes that are run by persons with disabilities through MACOHA so that they reach their full production capacity.

She therefore, invited companies, organization, individuals and all well-wishers in the country to join the State President in supporting MACOHA during the flag week by purchasing the flags and make various donations.

Henderson Chipeta, Director of Finance for the Handicapped, said it was encouraging to note that a number persons with disabilities that live in rural areas earn their living through farming.

He said the importance of agriculture to sustain livelihood of persons with disabilities in the country cannot be underemphasized.

This years’ MACOHA Flag Week is commemorated under the theme; ‘Agriculture as a transformative empowerment for sustainable livelihoods for persons with disabilities’.

MACOHA has planned to close the Flag Week with an open day function to take place at Ndakwera in Chikhwawa District on 11th November, 2017.

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