The Busia County Chairman for the Association of Persons with Disabilities, George Wesonga has urged the government to increase its support to the disabled.
Speaking during the celebrations to mark the International Day for Persons Living With Disability in Nambale Sub County on Tuesday, Wesonga said both the County and National government had done very little to improve the welfare of the physically challenged.
“The physically challenged should be given first priority in medical facilities,” he said, adding that disabled patients do not pay for health services in other countries.
He pointed out that most public facilities within the county were not disability friendly yet the government had come up with a policy that required public facilities to be friendly.
“The government should ensure that all buildings under construction should be friendly to the physically challenged,” he said.
The official at the same time stated that the County Government was not engaging the physically challenged in matters affecting their lives.
“Registering as persons with disabilities is not a problem,” he said, adding that getting contracts with the County government was a major challenge.
Wesonga urged the leadership of Busia County government to emulate other counties by ensuring that 30% of contracts are set aside for women, youth and persons living with disability.
He at the same time, urged persons living with disability to fight for their space instead of seeking for favours and sympathy.
The Busia County Community Based Organization Coordinator, Joseph Okode thanked the National government for supporting persons living with disability through cash transfer programme.
Okode however urged the government to consider all persons who have passed the disability assessment instead of focusing on those with severe cases.
“Just like the funds for the elderly, we would like all those who have been registered by APDK to be considered,” he said.
The Nambale Assistant County Commissioner, Tom Chetambe asked the residents to ensure that KCPE candidates who attained 280 marks and above apply for Elimu scholarship.
“Let them pick forms from Equity bank and make applications,” he said adding that those who qualify will get full education support from form one to form four.
The Busia County Director of National Council of Persons living with Disabilities, Rose Simiyu said the organization was providing educational assistance in special boarding primary schools, vocational training centres, secondary schools and under graduate level.
Simiyu added that NCPWDs had also supported infrastructural development of some special schools in the County.
She added that they are also offering economic empowerment to various registered groups. “This time round, we have funded one group from each of the seven Sub Counties to the tune of Sh100,000 each,” she said.
The official encouraged the physically challenged to join such groups in order to benefit from the funds.
Simiyu urged the County government through its health sector to fast track disability assessment reports in Nairobi to enable the NCPWDs to register those with disabilities.
“As a representative of the PWDs, I would like to appeal to the county government to waive the Sh.1,000 charged for disability assessment,” she said adding that other counties are offering such services free hence recording many beneficiaries.
The forum brought together a section of persons living with disability across the county, some of whom were subjected to disability assessment.
By Salome Alwanda