They are elected and fully involved in the village and ward committee as well as the district committees.
In an interview with Mpwapwa District Welfare Officer, Anthony Mbabile, recently, he said the main aim of the committees is to bring together the people with disabilities, discuss their issues which they think should be included in the District plans and budgets.
Mbabile said the people with disabilities have also formed income generating groups and some have been registered to help them earn incomes for their own developments.
Mbabile said that all these initiatives have been made possible due to the interventions made by the project called “Utetezi wa Watu wenye Ulemavu katika kuongeza Ushiriki Katika michakato ya Uwajibikaji Jamii na Serikali za mitaa mkoani Dodoma. The project is funded by Foundation for Civil Society (FCS).
“Some of these groups have been registered already; other groups are still finalising procedures and process of registration. We commend the project for empowering these people in terms of socio-economic development,” he said.
Some beneficiaries of the project explained that the project has changed their life. Stigma from the surrounding communities and among themselves had been reduced to a great extent and they are currently living peacefully with other people and in several public offices.
According to the secretary for TLB- Mpwapwa branch, Philemon Masumega (50) said that through the project, there are some people with disabilities who had been elected into decision making organs in the district.
“I am one of those who have been elected to work for land committee. The committee is working to solve land disputes in our district and wherever I stand up to contribute my views, I am respected and taken into consideration by other members of the committee,”.
In the four Wards where the project has been working such as Mpwapwa ward, Godegode and Kimagai we have formed different groups and decision making committees at village level, ward level up to the district level, he added .
He called on the government and other stakeholders to scale up the project to other remote areas where stigmatisation is common. He also called on the head of government departments and other officials to continue working with people with disabilities and provide service equally.
Edina Josia (49) explained that the project had helped to address the problem of unfriendly infrastructures to people with disability. Many public buildings are not friendly because they were built for ordinary citizens who have no disabilities.
Edna who is also the treasurer for TLB-Mpwapwa branch called on the heads of different departments in the district to include the budget of the people with disability in the district and regional plans especially when planning for construction of the new public buildings.
“Through this project, I believe, the heads of different government institutions have received education on how to address this problem. They should work to see that the infrastructures and buildings of the government institutions such as schools, hospitals are friendly to people with disabilities,” she explained.
Fredrick Joseph Mazanda said people with disabilities have understood the constitution, different human rights conventions and their human rights. He said the government should ensure the challenges facing people with disabilities especially medical treatment is worked out as enshrined in the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania.
In his comments, chairman of TLB-Dodoma Region, Omary Rubuva commended the project, saying the FCS should increase the budget so that the TLB can extend its activities in the rural areas.