County Governments have been challenged to ensure participation of persons with disabilities, especially the deaf during the budget making process.
National Council for Persons with Disability Chairman Peter Muchiri said participation of persons with disabilities in the budget making process will ensure they have a chance to give their input on the budget.
“I am urging not only the County Government of Homa Bay, but all the 47 counties to make sure that during budget making exercise, persons with disabilities and the deaf are included in the participation to give their input on the budget,” Muchiri said.
The chairman pointed out that they too have a right to participate in budget making process.
He questioned the county government on where budget for people with disabilities goes, saying there is nothing that has been done for them in the County.
“We understand that the county government has the budget for persons with disabilities, but we have not witnessed anything being done for them,” he said.
The chairman further urged the government to incorporate sign language into the school curriculum adding that sign language being the third official language in the country should be included in the curriculum.
Muchiri also urged the media to include the deaf in their programs like entertainment, citing that the latter are only included in news interpretation but left out in other areas like entertainment among others.
“The deaf also need interpretation in areas of entertainment in media platforms alongside news,” he noted.
The meeting which brought together different stakeholders in the county and beyond took place in a hotel in Homa Bay town.
The Project Officer of Integrated Development Facility (IDF) Japheth Ojijo said, “For five days we have been celebrating deaf awareness week with the theme of ‘Thriving the deaf community’. We as an organization dealing with governance came in to analyze and see how article 54 of the constitution which deals with persons with disability is realized in Homa Bay County,” he said.
One key issue that came to our attention is the inclusion of persons with disability in budget making process, he added saying that county governments do not include them in budgeting process.
Ojijo also noted that interpreters and other people who aid communication are usually excluded whenever there is public participation on issues of budget.
He pointed out that after massive discussions on these issues, they have aligned them in the memorandum which will be submitted to the county assembly.
By Sitna Omar