Factor our needs into policy implementation …PWDs tell assemblies

The Obuasi branch of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) has called on Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to factor the needs of members in the planning and implementations of policies.

It said incorporating the needs of vulnerable groups in the plan­ning and budget allocations was the way to go to ensure inclusive development.

Mr Karim Iddrisu, the President of the Obuasi Chapter of GFD, said this at Obuasi during a pro­gramme to mark the 2022 World Disability Day on Thursday.

He charged the MMDAs to demonstrate commitment towards empowering PWDs by prioritising their needs at the conception of their development programmes.

The World Disability Day is celebrated annually on December 3, instituted by the United Nations in 1992, to promote understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of Persons with Dis­ability (PWDs).

It also seeks to increase aware­ness of gains to be derived from the integration of PWDs in every aspect of social, political, econom­ic and cultural lives.

The Obuasi Chapter of the Federation decided to climax the month-long celebration in January, on the theme: “Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Develop­ment: The Role of Innovation in Fuelling an Accessible and Equita­ble World.”

Mr Iddrisu said though some assemblies had been supporting PWDs, with the Obuasi Assembly not an exception, more needed to be done in terms of equal oppor­tunities for employment and skills development.

He bemoaned the lack of sup­port for PWDs during the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, saying that the period saw many of them wallow in poverty.

“It was very unfortunate that Government did not come out with any policy targeted at sup­porting PWDs during the peak of the COVID-19. A lot of our peo­ple really suffered and are currently suffering from post- COVID-19 losses,” he noted.

Mr Elijah Adansi-Bonah, the Obuasi Municipal Chief Execu­tive, called for a national dialogue on some of the issues raised by the participants, especially on the need to make special provision for PWDs in job creation.

He said the District Assemblies Common Fund had been the major source of support for PWDs but its disbursement had specific directives.

He implored the GFD to submit its needs to the assembly to be captured in the planning and bud­getary processes.

Mr Peter Owusu Ansah, the Municipal Director, Department of Social Welfare, said 543 PWDs had been registered to benefit from government interventions and urged all members to register.

Mr Samuel Asante Yeboah, the Municipal Director, Commission on Human Rights and Adminis­trative Justice, said his office was always opened for the federation to seek redress on human rights violation.

Members of the Ghana Deaf Association took the opportunity to appeal to the government to en­gage the services of sign language interpreters in public institutions, especially the hospitals and schools, to ensure effective communication. —GNA

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