At least 80 Persons with Disability groups are set to benefit from a financial literacy initiative aimed at uplifting their socioeconomic plight within the county.
The initiative launched under the auspices of Muslim Women Advancement of Rights and Protection (MWARP) and The Aga Khan Foundation the groups will then be set to receive funding through which they can set up their own businesses in a bid to ensure they fend for themselves.
Speaking to the media today following the launch of the initiative at Mokowe County Headquarters, MWARP Executive Director Rahma Gulam stated that the initiative would alleviate the plight of the PWD many of whom have suffered since the turn of the Covid-19 crisis.
“Many bread winners lost their jobs and with it some of their dependents who are disabled have suffered from not having the material and social needs well taken care of,” she stated.
Gulam further stated that the six-month initiative which will include the identification, registration, training and funding of these groups will also aim to ensure that PWDs are considered in the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP).
“We are also in talks with the county government to ensure that PWDs are considered in the budgetary allocations going forwards to ensure that considerations are made for their socioeconomic needs,” the CBO official said.
Sentiments echoed by MWARP programme officer, James Chappa who stated that the initiative is a direct response to the plight of PWD, which he said has greatly deteriorated since the Covid-19 crisis.
He further said that the key to the initiative’s success lies with all stakeholders collaborating to de-stigmatize PWDs and their plight.
“There is need for both the county and national government to get involved in ensuring that PWDs are facilitated just as much as other residents to have access to opportunities that include education, jobs and also infrastructure,” he said.
National Council for Persons with Disability County Director Joseph Wanjohi on his part stated that collaborative efforts are already underway in ensuring that all PWDs are re-registered again in a bid to ensure that they have access to affirmative action opportunities that are available to them.
“There has been a lot of infiltration by unscrupulous individuals who have been taking advantage and registering PWDs,” he stated, adding that the Council in collaboration with other stakeholders would be carrying out a registration drive across the county in a bid to identify those who are deserving of the affirmative action initiatives.
Lamu County Children’s Services County Director Maxwell Titima on his part stated that children with disability should also be considered when disability aids are being distributed.
He further said that Parents with children with disability need to register their children with the NCPWD early in order for them to ensure that their kin are considered for disability relief programmes and initiatives.
“A good number of parents have been hiding their children who have disabilities rather than availing them to be registered by NCPWD,” Titima stated.
Grace Atieno, Chairperson of the Persons with Disability Lamu further hailed the initiative terming it timely, adding that there is need to ensure that the programme goes longer than other previous initiatives aimed at uplifting PWDs living in Lamu.
By Amenya Ochieng