Group village head Thanga in the area of traditional authority (T/A) Mwansambo in Nkhotakota has asked fellow traditional leaders to promote the welfare of people with disabilities in their jurisdictions.
The chief said this on Saturday when Evangelical Lutheran Development Service (Elds) conducted a sensitisation meeting on the rights of people with disabilities in the area.
The organisation, which is the development arm of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Malawi, is a implementing a project called community livelihood and empowerment project (Clep) in the area.
He observed that chiefs should ban harmful cultural practices that put the lives of people with disabilities at risk by among other things, formulating by-laws.
“People with disabilities continue to be subjected to various forms of abuse. As chiefs, we need to be vibrant in promoting them,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Elds Nkhotakota district project coordinator Susan Phiri underscored the need to embrace people with disabilities in development, noting that sideling them is counterproductive.
She said since the inception of the project, people with disabilities are being allowed to actively participate in development projects in the area.
In his remarks, district disability forum chairperson William Afaki underscored the need to promote the welfare of people with disabilities by incorporating them in local social protection programmes.
He bemoaned the tendency of some parents who are denying their children with disabilities the right to education by keeping them at home instead of keeping them in school.