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Labour ministry to prioritize needs of PWDs

Cabinet Secretary in charge of Labour and Social Services Ms. Florence Bore has reiterated that her ministry will fast-track the repeal of the Persons with Disability Act 2003 to align it to the constitution of Kenya and convention on the rights of persons with disability.

Bore said the new law will help to improve the economic and living standards of persons with disability as it will match with the reality of the present times.

“My desire is to have a new law for Persons with Disabilities before the end of this financial year,” she said, adding that the 2021 bill sailed through parliament but is yet to be assented to law.

She spoke at the Ole Ntimama stadium during the celebrations of the International Day for Persons with Disabilities where she said the main challenge of persons with disability is stigma and discrimination.

Bore revealed that about 582, 000 persons were registered with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) yet there were over one million people in the country with disabilities.

She observed that the percentage of Persons with Disabilities globally is 16 percent of the world population. According to the 2019 census, the population of persons with disability above the age of five years stood at 918,270, which is about two percent of the population.

“My ministry will call on the support of all stakeholders to prioritize awareness creation on persons with disability to avoid stigmatization and discrimination in the society,” she added.

The government, she said, has put in place policies and measures that are geared to improve livelihoods of persons living with disability among them the Inua Jamii programme that has seen 37, 553 people with severe disability registered.

The government also trains about 700 persons with disability annually on ICT, electrical installation, fashion and design among others to ensure they have equal opportunity with other members of the society.

“We have developed a career portal to link the professional persons with disability with relevant jobs. We will continue to provide appropriate equipment to enable them live a normal life,” she said.

The CS called on the county governments to support Persons with disability by giving them at least 30 percent of tenders and employment.

Narok Governor Patrick Ntutu said about 40 employees in the county government are persons with disability, reiterating his commitment to continue supporting the special group.

He committed to continue supporting registered groups to empower them through establishment of income generating initiatives for economic development.

Ntutu reiterated that the county had developed different policies with the support of partners which have helped to reduce inequalities, especially for persons with disabilities to have equal rights as other members of the community.

NCPWD Executive Director Harun Hassan said the council has shifted from giving educational support in form of bursaries to scholarships with an aim of improving students with disabilities enrollment, retention and completion of education cycle.

This year’s theme was ‘transforming solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world.

The theme focused on three thematic areas: Innovation for disability inclusive development in employment, innovation for disability inclusion development in reducing inequality and innovation for disability inclusive development in sports.

By Ann Salaton

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