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PWDs urged to have appropriate information to fight for rights

PWDs in Baringo county have been urged to arm themselves with relevant information on opportunities available for them in order to fight for their spaces in the society.

Rueben Ratemo Baringo Central Deputy County Commissioner spoke to the PWD representatives from the entire county at the County Commissioners’ boardroom where they held a consultative meeting organized by the Executive Director of the Endorois Indigenous Women Network (EIWEN) Christine Kandie on Monday.

Representatives from the Social Protection Department and the National Council of People with Disabilities (NCPWD) were also present to answer various queries from the vulnerable group.

Ratemo challenged the members to have the right information on employment opportunities and contracts advertised by the national and county governments and put the relevant authorities to task in allocating them the slots.

“I always ensure slots are allocated to PWDs whenever there are job opportunities as long as they have the required qualifications and I urge all of you to champion for your rights and build capacity and apply in order to improve your livelihoods. Please put in mind that disability is not inability,” he said.

He however regretted that the county commissioners’ offices lacked a ramp hence making it was inaccessible to PWDs noting that it was mandatory for all government offices and schools to be accessible.

He thanked the area Member of Parliament Joshua Kandie for constructing one at the constituency development fund offices.

Kandie in her remarks said the objective of their organization was to empower women, girls and PWDs in order to build their confidence and self-esteem; capacity building through ensuring that they take leadership positions by participating in public participation forums to voice their problems.

“We are fighting for inclusion of women and PWDs in leadership positions in order to champion the rights of the rest of us and we want the county government to adhere to this in employment opportunities,” she said.

“We are very disappointed that political puppets are being given plum positions at the expense of PWDs,” she added.

She further noted with concern that the public transport industry was a major challenge to PWDs, noting an incident where one of them lost a wheelchair while using public transportation and urged the DCC to have a meeting with the matatu owners’ associations to look into the issues of PWDs.

Gladys Chepchieng a person with disability said as women they face a lot of discrimination in society and especially in marital homes when one gets a disability after marriage and also added that disabled children are locked in their homes and neglected as society deems them as a curse.

“We urge the government to help us and give us cash transfers as we cannot fend for our children. I want to thank the DCC who has stood with PWDs of Baringo central by giving us first priority in relief food distribution and I want to urge all administrators in the other sub-counties to do the same,” she said.

Kigen Kurgat from the Social Protection Department said they had an economic inclusive programme for vulnerable and marginalized groups (VMG) and they do data collection in order to give assistive devices and cash transfers but cited limited funds as a major challenge.

By Caroline Cherono

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