Calls for Treasury to channel more funding towards disability

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

BULAWAYO civil society groups have implored government to allocate more funding towards people living with disabilities and mental health challenges.

Speaking during a 2021 national budget consultative meeting in the city Monday, Edward Mundanga the vice chairperson of the National Disability Board urged transparency by government during budget allocations.

Mundanga said authorities should also reserve at least $5 billion to patients with mental illnesses as they required medication and special treatment.

“People living with disabilities and those with mental challenges need to be properly looked after by the government.

“Government should allocate more money to these people because they require expensive medication and special treatment,” said Mundanga.

He said failure to provide medication for the patients will see them turn to the streets as permanent homes.

Matilda Mzwandiwa from Jairos Jiri Association said a lot of people with disabilities were professionally trained but were being shunned by most employers because of their conditions.

“The government should assist people living with disabilities with capital so that they can start their own projects such as schools and companies throughout the country.

“We have got a lot of qualified people who are living with disabilities but are not employed because most organisations do not want to employ them.

“These people have got a lot of potential in terms of growing the economy,” said Mwandiwa.

She said most disabled persons spent a lot of their time at home idle.

Speaking during the meeting, the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) also urged government to allocate more funds towards finding a permanent solution to the city’s water crisis.

BPRA’s information and communications manager, Kelebone Khabo said government should allocate at least $1 billion dollars towards the provision of water in the country’s cities.

“The government should prioritise water provisions as water shortages are now a cause for concern,” said Khabo.

Bulawayo has been battling perennial water challenges which have worsened this year with residents going for days without the necessity.