The Municipality of Gwanda has been commended for being the first local authority to have a disability inclusion policy.

The development will see people living with disabilities enjoying the same rights as other citizens.

The idea to draw up a disability policy was inspired by the civil society organisations and World Vision’s Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH ) programme currently being implemented  in Gwanda town  which places emphasis on gender equity and the inclusion of people with disabilities in all wash  projects.

Speaking during the launch of the new policy at Jahunda Hall, a representative of the Gwanda Municipality Councillor Thulani Moyo said while the local authority has always striven to cater for the disadvantaged group , the policy will ensure that people living with disabilities fully enjoy their rights like other citizens.

People Living with Disabilities Gwanda focal person Mr David Mwera said the policy that came into effective in July this year has already seen most buildings becoming user friendly.

National chairperson of the Federation of Organisation for Disabled People in Zimbabwe Mr Watson Khupe said the development is a victory for people living with disabilities, sentiments also echoed by the World Vision gender equity and social inclusion officer Charity Mwera.

Implementation of the policy will be guided by the Disabled Persons Act, the country’s constitution as well as regional and international instruments to which Zimbabwe is party to.

There are currently 1.5 million people living with disabilities in Zimbabwe.