A total of 32 Persons with Disability (PWDs) in the Ayawaso North Municipality in Accra were on Friday presented with assorted items valued at GH¢80, 000 by the assembly as part of their share of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF).
The items included chest freezers, refrigerators, Polytanks, sewing machines, popcorn machines, hearing aid, gallons of oil, cereals and an undisclosed amount of money.
At a short ceremony to distribute the items, the Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Aminu Mohammed Zakari, said the disbursement formed part of government’s policy backed by law which set aside three per cent of the DACF to be used for economic empowerment of PWDs.
He said the items were presented based on request by the beneficiaries.
According to him, the beneficiaries were selected through the help of assembly members in various electoral areas and the social welfare unit based on which they were screened and interviewed on what their individual needs were.
Mr Zakari said since the inception of the programme, some beneficiaries who hitherto solicited for alms on the streets have vacated and had their own businesses.
He charged the beneficiaries to make good use of the items to improve their living conditions since a team would be designated to monitor the use of the items to ensure they were used for its intended purpose.
The Director of Social Welfare, Ms Theresa Kutu, said the core mandate of the assembly was to take PWDs within the municipality off the street and ensure that they engaged in viable businesses.
She indicated that, initially the disbursement of the DACF were done quarterly but because of the scanty amount that was released, the assembly had to wait for it to increase a bit so that each and every beneficiary could benefit since the government had tasked not to give physical fund except for rare cases but rather empower them with skills and training.
Ms Kutu however, appealed to the government to increase the DACF since the PWDs kept increasing in order to meet the demands of beneficiaries within the municipality.
The Local District Chairman of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisation, Ayawaso North Municipality, Mr George Abelse Asiamah, on behalf of the beneficiaries expressed gratitude to the assembly for the support and urged the beneficiaries to desist from selling the items but rather set a good example within the assemblies by putting the items to good use to improve their living conditions.
He called on the government to consider PWDs in its project infrastructure by providing disability-friendly facilities at all public buildings to enable them have easy access to offices and places.
“We also appeal to the government to include us in its education policies because PWDs, our education and employment is lagging behind so that we can also have a better future,” Mr Asiamah added.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR