A CONSiDERABLE number of youth, women and people with disabilities, especially those living in rural areas still lack zanzibar residence identification cards (zaniDs) due to ignorance, lack of birth certificate and bureaucracy.
This was revealed during the implementation of ‘zaniDs campaign project’ which aims at increasing communities’ awareness and understanding on the importance of having nationally recognized identity cards as crucial tools for their employment and other socioeconomic opportunities.
Center for Youth Dialogue (CYD) in collaboration with local partners have been working on a number of local initiatives to enhance awareness among youths, women and people with disability (PWD) on the accessibility of the identity cards as a pathway to access their socioeconomic needs.
Mr Hashim Pondeza, CYD Executive Director mentioned project implementation partners as Jumuiya ya Wanawake Wenye Ulemavu zanzibar (JUWaUza), Pemba island Relief Organization (PiRO) and zanzibar Legal Services Centre (zLSC) under the umbrella of Ushiriki Tanzania (UT).
“With an overall goal of championing democracy and citizens’ rights in Tanzania, and with support from the national Democratic institute (nDi) and United States agency for Development (USaiD), the four CSOs from zanzibar successfully implemented the project to help solve the challenge,” Pondeza said.
He said to majority people in zanzibar, especially special groups application procedures for zaniDs are not clearly known. He said young women living with disabilities are more affected as majority lack birth certificates.
People with hearing impairment also face difficulties in getting the right information on zaniD application process because of communication barriers.
In the course of implementing the initiative zanzibar CSOs identified challenges before presenting recommendations to zaniD stakeholders that include the Minister for Regional administration and Special Departments, the Director for Department of zaniD and Birth certificates, Legal aid director, the Director for Disability, The Youth Development Director and The Urban District Commissioner.
Mr Pondeza said: “the CSOs, the Ministry and other stakeholders expressed their commitment to partner, collaborate and support our organizations to work on improving zaniD accessibility, especially among youth, women and PWDs.”
The CSOs called upon zaniD stakeholders to intervene by looking into the possibility of making policy changes to respond to the challenges highlighted to improve youth access to iDs.
Mr Pondera said the zaniD campaign was held in six districts and focused on understanding barriers to youth access to zaniD through focus group discussions reaching 360 youth, women and PWDs.
A total of 18 community fora were also held He said during the project, 24 paralegals from Unguja and Pemba were also trained to help them reach more youth at the grassroots level to help them understand the zaniDs application process.
The paralegals are currently supporting 288 new applications.