Manombe-Ncube appeals for more inclusive language

01 Jun 2016 13:50pm
WINDHOEK, 01 JUN (NAMPA) - Deputy Minister of Disability Affairs in the Office of the Vice President Alexia Manombe-Ncube has appealed to Namibians to be mindful of their language when dealing with issues relating to people with disabilities.
Manombe-Ncube made her appeal after spotting the 'mute and dumb' in the Namibia 2011 Census Disability Report launched by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA)'s here on Tuesday.
“Such words used in this report are not welcomed and I am urging all Namibians to choose words carefully when dealing with people with disability,” she said.
The report was drafted by the NSA in collaboration with the National Disability Council of Namibia.
Manombe-Ncumbe, however, welcomed the report, saying it is rich with important statistics that can be used at national and international level for the designing of national development programmes aiming at improving the livelihood of persons with disabilities in Namibia.
She noted that people with disabilities are one of the groups who suffer the most discrimination, thus the government has formulated policies and legislation such as Affirmative Action Act and the National Disability Council Act to empower them and for their inclusion in the national development agenda.
Manombe-Ncumbe said there is a need to produce statistics to show the geographical distribution of persons, adding that the lack of detailed statistics on disability in Namibia has made it difficult for the government to plan and implement programmes aimed at improving their welfare.
The deputy minister pointed out sanitation as one of the matters that need attention.
“Sanitation helps create physical environments that enhance safety, dignity and confidence as these are important to persons with disabilities who are often at risk of being neglected,” she said.
She went on to say she was disappointed to learn from the report that 62,4 per cent of households of persons with disabilities had no toilet facilities.
The report also noted that out of 98 413 persons with disabilities in Namibia, about 18 090 had physical impairments while 16 189 had visual impairment problems.
Speaking at the same occasion, NSA Statistician General (SG) Alex Shimuafeni said the disability statistics form part of the statistics that were produced based on the Namibia 2011 Census and Population Housing Census data.
He explained that the 2011 Census questionnaire had more than 40 questions that needed to be posed to two million individuals which gave some 80 million data sets.
These had to be developed to define the variables as part of the data analysis process. The process was also prolonged by the fact that the census was based on a paper questionnaire which then had to be used to produce the census reports.
Shimuafeni said statistics on disability are aimed at monitoring and evaluating national programmes for the improvement of the livelihood of persons with disabilities in Namibia.
The SG noted that this report contains necessary information for evidence-based planning and decision making process concerning the needs of persons with disability.
“Consultative meetings were held with stakeholders, particularly the Disability Council of Namibia, to seek inputs on the module for disability,” he said.