Mr. Richard Tetteh, a 20-year-old man living with disability, has called on government to consider increasing the Disability Fund to enable beneficiaries to contribute more to the development of society.
According to Mr. Tetteh, who is a mobile phone repairer, an increase from the current two per cent of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) to five per cent would help persons living with disabilities (PWDs) to afford the high cost of skills training, buy tools or equipment and set up businesses that would eventually help them employ others.
He made the call on Tuesday, in an interview when the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) distributed GH¢40,000.00 to 69 beneficiaries under the fund.
The Assembly has so far this year, distributed GH¢100,000 to more than 129 beneficiaries, and the last batch will receive their share in the last quarter.
The Constitution mandates the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to allocate two per cent of their share of the Common Fund to persons living with disabilities (PWDs).
The Disability Fund is to be utilised in training PWDs in employable skills, apprenticeship, income generation activities as working capital, educational support for pupils and students, provision of technical aids, assistive devices, equipment and registration of National Health Insurance Scheme.
Part could also be used for advocacy and awareness creation on the rights and responsibilities of PWDs and strengthening of organisations for PWDs.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Metropolitan Chief Executive of Tema, Mr. Isaac A. Odamtten, advised the beneficiaries to channel their benefits into the purposes for which they had applied, in order not to waste it.
He said the TMA was committed to the upliftment of the vulnerable in society, especially PWDs, and would do everything possible to make them comfortable.
Mr. Odamtten, therefore, urged PWDs to take advantage of every opportunity that the Assembly would create to improve their lot.
He commended government for ensuring that all the DACF allocations for 2015 were paid before the end of that year, adding that it was the first time since 1992 that such a feat had been chalked.
The chairman of the Social Services Sub-Committee of TMA, Baba Abu said disability was not inability and advised the beneficiaries to focus on their strengths so that they could create value for themselves and society.
He said the Assembly under its model entrepreneur concept would select a business with high prospect operated by a PWD for support so that it could be expanded to employ more people.
From Godfred Blay Gibbah, Tema