The Techiman Municipal Assembly (TeMA), on last Friday presented assorted items and cash worth GH¢78,000 to 45 Persons With Disability (PWDs) at Techiman, the Bono East Regional capital.
The items included industrial sewing machines, fufu pounding machines, baking flour, wheelchairs, bags of charcoal, hair dryers for beauticians, deep freezers and livestock for rearing among others.
Other beneficiaries also received cash donations to cater for their medical bills, school fees at the tertiary institutions, start-up capital for new enterprises and support for existing businesses.
Mr Solomon Amaning, the Municipal Director, Department of Social Welfare (DSW), said the disbursement was part of the three per cent share of the District Assembly common Fund (DACF) earmarked for PWDs in the area.
The Municipal D`irector disclosed that the items were purchased and distributed to the beneficiaries based on their individual needs saying that “the selection and disbursement process has been transparent and peaceful”.
He implored guardians and parents to enrol children with disabilities to schools and other employable skills training programmes stressing that “register them with the various disability groups”.
The Techiman Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Benjamin Yaw Gyarko, in his remarks, reiterated the commitment of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to improve the living standards of PWDs in the country.
Mr Gyarko said beneficiaries in the last decade who received cash donations mismanaged it without realising the main purpose of the disability fund, thus the need to replace it with valuable items.
He warned the beneficiaries against the sale of the materials received, and assured that monitoring teams from TeMA and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), would visit the PWDs.
“We want you to keep, use and maintain the items prudently for them to last longer. They will go a long way to improve your living conditions, thereby making you financially independent,” the MCE added.
Mrs Evelyn Yawa Bansah, the Bono East Regional Director of DSW, in her remarks, said the quarterly disbursement of the fund was meant to make PWDs useful in the society rather than begging for alms in the streets.
The Regional Director indicated that the disability fund is gradually removing beggars who were PWDs from the streets to empower them to fend for themselves, saying that “disability is not inability.”
Mr John Amankwah, on behalf of the beneficiaries, appealed to the government through the MLGRD, to increase the three per cent disability fund under the DACF to at least five per cent, in order to benefit several other.
FROM EMMANUEL ADU GYAMFI, TECHIMAN