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Governor affirms intent to engage PWDs in economic development of region

Meru County administration has expressed commitment to collaborate with stakeholders to ensure People with Disabilities (PWDs) are recognised and involved in development activities in the region.

Speaking during the Meru PWDs Sports day celebrations at Kinoru Stadium, Governor Kawira Mwangaza said this will ensure that the differently abled people contribute to the economic development of the county as well as empowering them to gain economic independence.

She said the main objectives of the event was to promote inclusion and participation, innovation for disability inclusive development, create awareness, reduce stigma and discriminations as well as nurture talents and abilities among the PWDs in the county.

“My government is committed to address various issues that enhance inclusion of PWDs in the development agenda. In the last financial year 2022/2023 for instance, there was an allocation of Sh10 million where Sh5 million was seed capital to boost PWD Sacco and the other Sh5million procured assistive devices.

We have made a similar allocation this financial year and we will continue supporting them throughout to ensure they are at par with others in terms of development,” said Governor Mwangaza.

She said her government will soon allocate a piece of land to the PWDs where they can build various facilities including, offices, their special sporting grounds as well as other commercial structures that will realise some income for them.

Some of the assistive devices that were procured to enhance mobility of some of the PWDs in the county.

“We want to ensure that PWDs in Meru are taken care of and not left to live with begging bowls in our streets,” said Governor Mwangaza.

She urged all the differently abled people in the county to come out and register in order to tap credit from the government and other organisations for business.

“It is important to note that Meru has the highest number of persons with disabilities totaling 48,815 according to the statistics derived from the last national census conducted in 2019. However, to date, only 12,000 people are registered which is a relatively low figure compared to the real numbers on the ground.

I therefore appeal to all the PWDs to come out and register to enable them to benefit from the resources allocated to them. We also appeal for support from stakeholders in creating awareness and education on matters concerning PWDs,” Governor Mwangaza  said.

Some of the assistive devices issued during the day included wheelchairs (210), walker frames with wheels (100), crutches (405), Tripod walking sticks (100), pediatric walkers (75), walker frames without wheels (75) and white canes (54).

By Dickson Mwiti and Dorcas Kawira

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