Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Nakuru County have asked the government to waive the assessment fee since most of them cannot afford thus contributing greatly to the reducing numbers of those being registered by the National Council for Persons Living with Disabilities (NCPWD).
Speaking in Nakuru, para volley chairman, George Otieno noted that the Sh700 charged to each person during assessment is not affordable more especially to persons having more than one kin living with disability. If considered, then they will be able to be registered and enjoy the benefits of PWDs.
He noted that the logistics involved in transporting one PWD depending on the severity of the disability can be financially exhausting and when several have to be catered for, it becomes difficult thus the need to address this issue promptly.
Otieno said that the harsh economy has also taken a toll on many families with PWDs who are financially crippled thus unable to eke a living for their families among other necessities let alone getting the cash to pay for the assessment exercise.
Advocating for the government to conduct sensitization forums to enlighten them on the benefits of getting registered by NCPWD and knowing well of the benefits, Otieno said that such should be done often in a bid to empower the PWDs with information since majority of them say that they have not seen the benefits that come with being registered.
Such avenues of having forums to get enlightened on issues such as benefits, giving their feedback on how best they can be served, joining PWDs organizations and where to register for the same, assessment, registration and any other upcoming opportunities for them will go a long way in ensuring that their challenges are well addressed through improved service delivery.
Another concern raised was that of decentralizing the assessment services to the grassroots level so that each client gets the appropriate attention required adding that it will save more time too for other commitments of the day.
Currently, the PWDs are being sensitized through the area chiefs to go for mass assessment scheduled in a week’s time and have been urged to come out in large numbers and participate.
Those to be assessed are ones with severe mental and physical disability. Otieno noted that irrespective of the drawbacks experienced, getting registered will enable the government budget well for them.
The exercise is set to kick off on coming Monday as from 6:30am to 6pm at the Nakuru County level 5 hospital.
By Emily Kadzo