Garissa County Governor Nathif Jama has assured People with Disabilities (PWDs) in the county that his administration is working to create a full directorate to deal with their affairs and make sure that they are given the required support.
Speaking Saturday in Garissa town during the commemorations of the United Nations International Day for the Persons with Disabilities, Jama said that the directorate will be headed by a chief officer and directors from among the PWDs.
“We are forming a special directorate which will deal with the issues facing the PWDs. It will be headed by a chief officer who will be a person with a disability. This is something we are going to do to make sure that PWDs are included in our administration,” Jama said.
Former Principal Secretary for Culture and Heritage Josephta Mukobe who was present for the event called for empowerment programs that will be able to help and sustain the PWDs to afford their basic needs.
She called for national and county governments together with the private sectors to give priorities to PWDs during hiring of workers noting that most of them have gone to school and have higher qualifications too.
“We don’t need just money; we need something that can sustain us. There are a number of empowerment programmes that can help the PWDs like opening businesses for them, giving them jobs or teaching them on how they can get a source of livelihood,” Mukobe said.
“Accessibility of the persons with disabilities is also a challenge. We need wheelchairs for those who cannot walk. We need to figure out what we can do to transform the lives of PWDs,” she added.
She further called on the nomadic communities to stop neglecting PWDs especially by leaving them behind without help, when moving from one place to another in search of pasture and water for their livestock.
Veronicah Njuhi, the chairperson of Women Challenged to Challenge (WCC), a community based organizations of women and girls in Kenya urged the public to be patient with PLWDs. “We can do most of the things that other people do only that we may do at a slower pace. Just give us space and time to finish and be patient because we cannot be the same with those who are not challenged,” Njuhi appealed.
By Erick Kyalo