IPPMEDIA - Guardian, Tanzania.
Monday, February 20, 2006.
Tanzania National Institute for the Blind (TNIB) has started looking for donors for food aid to the blind persons in the country, it has been learnt.
The TNIB Executive Director, James Shimwenye, told PST recently that plans were under way to introduce special centres in the wards and districts in the country for distributing the food aid to the blind persons whenever it is received from the donors.
He said at least ten kilogrammes of maize flour is needed for each blind person per month.
The institute initiated the plans after finding many blind persons in the country are facing acute food shortage due to the drought as well as being poor, and their disability makes most of them unable to work.
Shimwenya said TNIB was expecting receiving food aid effective this year and start distributing it to them immediately through the centres in order to save them from starvation.
He said his office was in the process of lodging its plans to the World Food Programme(WFP) and the Prime Minister's Office.
According to him, TNIB would also give proposals to members of the public including stakeholders and other charitable organisations such as Caritas and other if they can consider to help them immediately especially at this moment when many areas in the country are facing food shortage due to drought.
He said although there are hundreds of thousands of blind persons in the country, when received, TNIB would start to distribute food aid to Mkurnga and Rufiji districts in Coast region, Lindi and Mtwara regions as pilot project where it has offices.
He said while the institute was striving to get such aid, members of the public in general especially the relatives would be asked to continue helping them for their survival.
Shimwenye said after visiting many villages in some districts in the country, TNIB has discovered that these disabled persons had neither food, shelter or clothing and not even some assurance of getting any medical treatment in case the become ill.
TNIB started its activities since 1998 in about 13 districts in the country which are Temeke, Ilala and Kinondoni in Dar es Salaam Region, Mkuranga and Rufiji in Coast Region.
Other are Mvomero in Morogoro Region, Newala, Tandahimba, Masasi, Kilwa, Lindi and Ruangwa in Mtwara and Lindi regions.
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