Blind people fail to use new Malawi banknotes

Reserve Bank of Malawi may be forced to go back to the drawing table to  redesign and reprint the newly introduced banknotes as they do not have features to enable the blind detect and use them.

The Central Bank was insensitive to the visually impaired people as it proceeded printing the bank notes without having finalized the consultation with Malawi Union of the Blind.

Malawi Union of the Blind has complained to the Central Bank that it did not consult them fully before introducing the new banknotes which are all of the same size but with different money value.

The Union’s executive director Ezekiel Kumwenda said :The bank was expected to come back to us before finally introducing the banknotes but they proceeded and as a result the banknotes do not
have the features and the blind people cannot use the banknotes because they cannot differentiate the notes.”

One of the required features are dots on the bank notes. Kumwenda said the banknotes have the dots but are too small.

He said his union complained to the Central Bank which promised to look into the matter.

Central Bank spokesperson Ralph Tseka confirmed receiving the complaint and said the bank will look into the matter “soon”.

It appears it will be hard to sensitize the blind on the new banknotes and the only viable solution is to redesign the bank notes and reprint them to accommodate the blind.

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