Uasin Gishu County government has set aside Sh20 million to improve the livelihoods of persons living with disabilities in the county, an official has said.
Another Sh1.2 million from The National Council for People with disability was also distributed to twenty two groups with each group receiving Sh50, 000 to improve the welfare of its members. Speaking on Thursday during the celebrations of United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, County Health Executive Margaret Chepkwony assured those living with disabilities that the County has embarked on a mapping exercise to identify and assist those with severe impairments.
"As a way of embracing inclusivity for all, the county government has set aside funds to assist those with disabilities, I therefore encourage the affected families involved to register so as to benefit from the allocated funds," she said. She reiterated that 5 per cent of jobs within the County will be given to the disabled, adding that shortlisted applicants will not be required to undergo an interview. She urged those with various impairments not to camp by the roadsides soliciting for help from well withers since there are numerous opportunities for them.
"We should outlive the notion that physical impairment is a gateway to begging and focus on ways of improving our livelihoods," she added.
She noted that most people living with various impairments have been kept in the dark for long making it difficult for the County government to trace and respond to their various needs. On her part, nominated MCA Flora Cheptum expressed concern that officials representing persons with disabilities are not disabled. "How can those with disabilities be represented by those who are not in their shoes?” She asked. She urged the County Government to allocate more funds to procure surgical operations for those who cannot walk. County Coordinator for people with disability Titus Yego however lauded the county government for their commitment towards improving the welfare of those with disabilities saying the group had been sidelined for long.
"We appreciate the recent move by the county to employ the deaf as office cleaners in County offices as it comes handy in improving the welfare of the marginalized in this community," he said.