National Council on Persons with Disabilities advisory board inaugurated

Mrs. Djaba(fourth from left) with the members. Photo Victor A. Buxton

Mrs. Djaba(fourth from left) with the members. Photo Victor A. Buxton

The  Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection (GCSP), Madam Otiko Afisa Djaba has tasked the newly inaugurated advisory board of the National Council on Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) to help the Council transform the lives of persons with disabilities.

The 13-member board is to, among others, help the Council monitor and evaluate disability policies and programmes, co-ordinate activities of organisations of persons with disability and advise the ministry on disability issues and maintain a register of persons with disabilities.

Performing the swearing-in in Accra on Friday, Madam Otiko Afisa Djaba said there was the need for the board to work closely with the Council to draw up programmes that will give better support to the “downtrodden.”

According to Madam Djaba, the Council was faced with numerous challenges, including inadequate data on persons with disability and service providers, human resource, logistics and negative public perception on persons with disability.

“The task ahead is enormous and you would be required to use your expertise and experience to help the NCPD transform the lives of persons with disabilities through the mobilisation of resources and support in any form to execute its mandate,” she said.

The minister said for their impact to be felt, they must get into the communities and see for themselves “what is on the ground” in order to draw up workable strategies to address concerns of the disability community.

Disabilities issues, she said, were practical and could be seen on the streets on daily basis and could not be glossed over, adding that as a vulnerable group, the disabled needed the support of the society for them to feel as part of communities they lived in.

In this regard, she said government, through the ministry, was committed to its mandate to provide protection for the disabled.

To demonstrate that commitment, Madam Otiko Djaba said the NCPD has developed a guideline on the use of appropriate and accessible forms of communicating with the disabled, compiling data on persons with disabilities and increased awareness creation on disability issues and would soon launch the framework and strategies for disability mainstreaming in the assemblies across the country.

Chairman of the Board, Yaw Ofori Debrah said that though the board was not oblivious of its mandate, it could do little if resources were not made available for the discharge of that task as has been the case of the previous boards.

He bemoaned the delays in the disbursement of the District Assemblies Common Fund and what he said, was the setting aside of the distribution formula and called on the minister to intervene before situations got out of hand as beneficiaries were calling for a protest march.

He said the board was ready to work to promote healthier relation with persons with disability.

Other members of the board are Walter Kwao Anati, Daniel Nnonah, Frank Sofo, Akwelley Bulley, Divine Ayidzoe, Claude Felix Ewa, Rev. Steve Mensah, Rita Kyeremaa Kusi, Humphrey Kofie, Kwamena Dadzi Dennis, Rev. Father Andrew Campbell, Yakor-Dagbah Mawunyo Kuma.

 

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