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PWD Groups receive Sh 320,000 worth grants

Several groups of people with disabilities in Kilifi received grants on Tuesday from the National Council for People with Disabilities (NCPD) to help them execute their projects for purposes of economic empowerment.

The groups, through NCPD Economic Empowerment Fund, received a cheque worth Shs. 80,000 each to sustain their projects but called for more support, saying there are many groups left out.

The grants were issued during a meeting for Kilifi County Disability Network, a network that brings together stakeholders to take care of the interests of persons with disabilities within the county.

Speaking to the media, NCPD County Director Mr. Mathias Tsuma said the grant exercise has started and they are working to issue more cheques according to the availability of funds as more groups get registered.

We have handed grants to four groups: one from Magharini, two from Rabai, and one from Kaloleni. These grants will enable them to undertake the various projects that they indicated in their application forms,” he said.

Sign language interpreter communication with a girl living with a disability during a disability network meeting at Mnarani, Kilifi Town

He further stated that due to the high demand for the grants, only a few of the groups that had applied could be chosen. This is due to the limited amount of funding for the programme.

“We do not have enough funding to cater for everyone. These four groups were chosen from among many that had applied because funding is currently not possible for everyone,” he explained, as he expressed hope for other groups to benefit from the programme in the new financial year.

Tsuma lauded the national government’s efforts to support people with disabilities in the country through its robust programs, including the economic empowerment fund and the programme that trains government officials basic sign language in order to better serve people with disabilities in government offices.

Hussein Mweri, group leader of Kambe Solidarity Disability Group, expressed his gratitude for receiving the grant after waiting for three years since they had applied. “We applied for this grant three years ago through the National Council for People with Disabilities. We are grateful to finally receive the cheque today,” he said.

However, he expressed his concern over the limited resources available to the PWD groups to meet their projects’ financial needs. He called upon the government to increase funding for empowerment programmes to enable more disability groups to benefit.

We are many, and the government is not able to reach everyone who needs this assistance. We are requesting an increase in funds so that more groups can benefit,” Mweri said.

The government should also do a mass registration of people with disabilities in order to know how many we are and ensure better service delivery to our groups,” he added.

The NCPD, through the fund, issues grants to the community for purposes of economic empowerment for persons living with disabilities.

The NCPD economic empowerment programme assists persons with disabilities to gain self-sufficiency in generating income for economic inclusivity.

By Jackson Msanzu

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