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Census data capture for people with disabilities

Ministry of Labour and Social Protection has developed a set of questions to be used during 2019’s census to capture data on people living with disabilities.
The move targets to capture all forms of disability to enable the national and county governments address their plight and plan for their inclusion in development.
Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ambassador Ukur Yatani said the exercise was critical to enable the government determine the actual number of people living with disabilities in the country.
This, he said, shall aid in the implementation of the Persons with Disabilities Act 2003 which advocates for the rights and rehabilitation of persons living with disabilities to achieve equalization of opportunities.
Yatani said the current data on people living with disabilities in the country was not accurate therefore disadvantaging them.
The Act provides for 5 percent of employment opportunities and certain government tenders to be given to people living with disabilities among others.
“The data we have is not accurate and inclusive. That is why we have developed specific questions to capture all forms of disability to enhance inclusivity,” he said.
Yatani said the Cabinet has approved the persons living with disabilities bill which is now before the National Assembly and urged legislators to own and pass the bill to unlock the pending matters on implementation of the rights of people living with disabilities.
Speaking on Monday at National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) grounds in Kisumu during the national celebrations to mark international day for persons with disabilities, the CS urged county government to enact similar legislation to champion for the rights of people living with disabilities. So far, Kisumu is the only devolved unit which has enacted the law.
The Ministry, he disclosed, has partnered with organizations representing persons living with disabilities and the University of Nairobi to research and develop technology for production of assistive devices for people living with disabilities.
He said the move shall be a game changer and would go a long way in developing cheap and user friendly devices tailored for local and regional needs.
“The devices we use are sources from outside the country and sometimes they are not tailored to meet the needs of persons living with disabilities here,” he observed.
National Council for Persons with Disabilities Executive Director Hussein Gabbow lauded the move and called on county governments and other development partners to join hands in assisting people living with disabilities.
Gabbow said the Council could only manage to procure assisting devices for 2, 600 people only yet over 400, 000 were in need.
“We are looked upon to carter for about 4.5 million people yet the funding we have is limited,” he said.
Gabbow called for linkages between the national and county government to ensure that there is legislation and budgets to carter for the huge number of people living with disabilities.
State Department of Heritage Principal Secretary Josephta Mukobe called on all government agencies to remain vigilant to reduce the number of disabilities occasioned by avoidable circumstances.
Cases of people being disabled and maimed as a result of road carnage, she said were on the increase urging the concerned agencies to crack the whip on reckless motorists to reverse the tide.
Mukobe further urged the Ministry of Health to conduct research on cerebral palsy and autism which she described as leading causes of disability among children in the country.
“We should not sit and watch as the number of people living with disabilities is increased by things we can avoid or correct,” she said.
By Chris Mahandara

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