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Allocate more funds for persons with disabilities, government urged

A section of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) from Murang’a County wants the government to increase allocation meant for cash transfer for the disabled.

The current amount allocated in the cash transfer, they argued, is meager and does not benefit all those with disability.

Led by the county Director for persons with disabilities Ms Esther Kaniaru, the PWDs complained that the majority of them are not included in the cash transfer since the amount allocated to the kitty can only benefit few people.

Kaniaru observed that most disabled people are left out of the program unlike the aged who are all catered for by the elderly cash transfer when they reach the age of 70.

The director said that the government should factor all persons with disabilities in the programme instead of just a section of them.

She also pointed out that the government should through the National Assembly ensure disabled children are entitled to free education from early childhood education to the university level.

“Parliament needs to consider formulating and passing a policy purported to enable disabled children to access free education at all levels. Children with disabilities need extra care and equipment which some parents struggle to get,” she observed.

Kaniaru spoke at Ndikwe Primary School in Kiharu constituency when Safaricom Limited through its social corporate responsibility donated walking sticks to children with impairment.

During the occasion, the telco revealed it has set aside Sh 4 million to purchase and distribute various support aides for children with disabilities.

Safaricom Human Resource Management Officer Peter Kamau Njioka said that chiefs will be issued with a number of white walking canes to distribute to children with vision impairment in several villages within Murang’a County.

Some of the blind persons like David Karanja, Virginiah Wambui narrated some of the challenges they face especially while walking without a proper aide.

They called on the government to consider increasing the monthly stipend of Sh 2, 000 arguing that with the current economic situation, the amount can do little in support of their welfare.

“We laud the government for the stipend we get every month but currently the amount is little considering the hike of prices of common commodities,” said Wambui.

During the occasion, locals were subjected to a free disability assessment led by Dr Linus Muturi of Murang’a Level 5 hospital, who confirmed that there is a bigger number of people with disabilities in the community and urged residents to visit medical facilities for regular assessments.

The assessments that were sponsored by Safaricom were meant to enable those with disabilities to access government services where they are exempted from tax and other charges.

By Bernard Munyao

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