The elderly need support and care – Kaliati
Lilongwe, October 02, Mana: People whose parents are old enough need to take the responsibility to support and care for them, so that they live their normal life and enjoy their old age.
Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati Kaliati said this on Thursday at Group Village Head Phata in Traditional Authority Chadza in Lilongwe during the commemoration of International Day of the Elderly which comes on 1st October every year.
The minister said most men and women whose parents are aged ignore them and only concentrate on their family affairs which she described as very bad.
“”As a nation we can’t afford to ignore the elderly, they’re custodians of our culture. It’s very unfortunate that they’re forgotten in our communities,” she said.
Kaliati said old people meet a lot of challenges like poor accommodation, lack of food and others, which need to be looked into by their children community and government.
“As government, we will be putting up an old persons bill that shall be taken to parliament just to ensure that the elderly are taken care of. There’s a need for establishment of different programs for the elderly welfare and support,” said Kaliati.
Malawi Network of Older People’s Organisation, (MANEPO) Executive Director, Andrew Kavala, said Malawi as a country had not created an enabling environment for the elderly. He said there could be programs targeting the elderly and the poor but they were not sustainable hence the need for deliberate policies targeting them.
“We give them food items but we don’t give them sustainable means for their livelihood. There’s a need to include them in the national budget,” said Kavala.
He said it was sad that most elderly people were living in poverty with no means for their daily life.
“It’s very pathetic, these people worked to develop this country through different means, but end up living miserably. We wish in government priorities the elderly should be there,” he said.
Before the function, the minister visited two elderly persons in Kachule village who also got some food items.