Kisii County Government has reiterated its commitment to support the interests of all persons living with disabilities within the county through economic and social-support programmes.
In a speech read on his behalf by Kisii County Assembly Speaker, Dr Phillip Nyanumba at Gusii stadium on Thursday, area Governor, Simba Arati said they are seeking partnerships with various organisations to help alleviate the suffering of persons with mobility challenges and other forms of disability.
Arati said the County will provide basic entrepreneurship skills, business tools like sewing machines, and other capacity-building avenues for persons with disabilities to engage them in income-generating activities to earn a living.
“We are considering the PWDs in employment opportunities and are set to introduce aspects of inclusion, like sports activities for PWDs such as sitting volleyball and para-athletics. This is besides giving them equitable opportunities in accessing County tenders,” he added.
The Governor said his administration is keen on mainstreaming PWDs matters in the County and will be introducing access ramps in existing government buildings and encouraging the inclusion of ramps in new buildings.
Arati noted the need for the development of a comprehensive community-based household identification and assessment targeting PWDs in the County to recognise the bedridden cases who cannot access medical and rehabilitation services due to high poverty levels.
The County Boss called for a multi-sectoral approach in disability service provision to ensure total identification and registration of all PWDs and enable them to access dignified intervention by government agencies and non-state actors.
In addition, he lauded the Walkabout Foundation for partnering with the County to donate wheelchairs to beneficiaries in all the nine sub-counties saying the gesture indicated both partners’ desire to provide PWDs with a support system to lead better lives.
The Walkabout Foundation is a registered charity whose mission is to restore dignity, freedom, and independence by providing wheelchairs and rehabilitation in the developing world and funding research to find a cure for paralysis.
Further, he appealed to the residents to discard the social stigma associated with disabilities and avoid hiding persons with disabilities from the public to enable the county government and non-state actors to reach out to all needy cases.
Arati promised to activate the registration card printer for PWDs at the Department of Culture for the purpose of continuously taking records to plan appropriately on how to assist them.
By Mercy Osongo