Persons with disabilities from Murang’a want the county and national governments to provide them with jobs and other services aimed at improving their welfare.
A section of them decried that for many years they have been ignored during employment of government officers.
During celebrations to mark International Day for people with disabilities in Kandara Wednesday, some of the disabled persons claimed that they are not considered when they apply for government appointments.
They lamented that lack of source of livelihoods have pushed the majority of them to live in abject poverty.
A section of the disabled further decried of being left out in the cash transfer meant to assist people living with disabilities.
Stephen Ndung’u who was born with a leg problem observed that he has been turned away anytime he tries to get a job.
With his condition, Ndung’u claimed he is unable to do menial jobs to get daily bread saying he has formal education but firms fear to employ him.
He further said his efforts to be included in cash transfer for the disabled have remained futile and requested the officers who register the beneficiaries to move to rural areas and carry out surveys of those who really need to be included in the programme.
“There are scores of disabled people in rural areas and they miss out on the cash transfer programme since no one has reached them. Let the concerned officers move around and include them to get the funds,” stated Ndung’u.
On her part, Damaris Muthoni from Maragua area said they have been neglected even in issuance of spaces to do businesses in the local market.
“People living with disabilities should be allocated stalls to do business. In Maragua market no stall has been allocated to a disabled person,” she decried.
Muthoni further called on the government to establish more vocational centres for people living with disabilities.
In the central region there are only two centres, one at Muriranjas in Murang’a, while the other is in Naromoru in Nyeri County, which makes it difficult for many to access them.
Education for children with disabilities is very expensive, Muthoni added, with some charging over Sh50, 000 per term, hence locking out the majority of them.
“Lack of proper education and training condemns us to a life of dependency when we can be facilitated to become independent,” she said.
Joseph Munyao from Ithanga narrated how arthritis which affected him since he was in primary school left his legs deformed.
Munyao, 29, said he tried to run for Member of County Assembly (MCA) seat but was hounded out during party nominations.
A degree holder, Munyao has remained unemployed and now says disabled persons should be given priority when the government is recruiting workers.
The County Executive Committee Member for Youth Affairs, Culture and Social Services Noah Gachucha said the county administration has started registering persons living with disabilities.
He noted that the data will assist the devolved administration to know the exact number in efforts to provide them with resources, among other forms of support.
“The county assembly has passed a supplementary budget that will enable us to carry out registration of persons living with disabilities. We will be going to all sub counties carrying out registration to establish how many they are and what support they require,” he explained.
His Health counterpart Fredrick Mbugua said the county government is committed to facilitating disabled persons to get a source of livelihoods and affordable medical care.
To make it easier to acquire cards from the National Council for Persons Living with Disabilities, Mbugua stated that the local administration has started assessing and registering them locally, eradicating the need for them to travel to Nairobi for the cards.
By Bernard Munyao