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422 Disables in Lamu Enlisted for Socioeconomic Package

At least 422 persons with disability have been registered by the national government and Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) organization under the social audit programme and will begin receiving affirmative action benefits next month.

Speaking to KNA today in Boni’s Kiangwe area, Jaffar Masoud, Muhuri’s Social Audit officer said the lack of government registration had marginalised persons living with disability from accessing government and NGO grants that would otherwise alleviate their plight in already marginalized areas.

Masoud said under the social audit programme, marginalized communities especially within Lamu East’s Kiangwe, Barsua and Mangai areas would soon begin receiving Inua Jamii funding that has so far been out of the reach of affected groups in Lamu East.

“Of the 422 persons with disability identified in Lamu East, 248 have already received their PWD I.D cards that they can now ably use to gain access to health benefits and loan funds that they can use to start their own businesses to guarantee them self-employment,” Jaffar stated.

He added that there was need for the county government to rise to the occasion and provide opportunities and socioeconomic relief for disadvantaged communities.

“The national and county government should also pool resources to build both primary and secondary schools for PWDs in Lamu, which so far have been non-existent,” the NGO official said.

Amina Omar Kassim, a PWD based in Faza also added her voice to the PWD plight in Lamu East stating that there is need for more affirmative action for such groups who are often victims of physical abuse.

Amina, already a mother of three and fully disabled from the waist down stated that access to loan and grant facilities is key to alleviating the plight of PWDs in Lamu.

Sentiments echoed by Maimuna Suga a beneficiary of the PWD ID card, who stated that more grants are needed to enable PWDs stop being dependents and start being providers within their families.

Education CEC Paul Thairu who spoke to KNA separately reiterated the county government’s commitment to providing socioeconomic relief for affected communities adding that the county government had set aside at least Sh13 million this financial year to aid disenfranchised groups such as the youth, women and disabled improve their socioeconomic position within their communities.

By Amenya Ochieng

 

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