From Francis Owusu-Ansah
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for West Gonja, Saeed Muhazu Jibril, has stated that the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government is focused on improving the livelihood of People living With Disabilities (PWDs) in the country, as he believes disability is not inability.
The DCE said this at the first-ever presentation of economic tools to the PWDs at a ceremony at the Damongo lorry park on Thursday.
“It is with great joy that we are gathered here to present economic development tools or items to persons with disability in this district,” the DCE said, adding, “This is to empower them economically to be self-reliant and also live independent lives.”
According to the DCE, the choice of the beneficiaries of the items was a result of the desire of the government, to consciously improve the living conditions of persons who have suffered disability, instead of giving out cash to them.
Mr. Muhazu Jibril said the government had increased the PWDs share of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) from 2.5% to 3% to help improve the living standard of persons with disabilities, to enable them contribute their quota to national development.
Fifty-one people out of the over 400 registered persons with disabilities in the district were cleared by the Disability Management Fund Committee (DMF) to receive support. The rest of them will receive theirs as and when the funds are released by the District Assembly Common Fund Secretariat.
The DCE disclosed that items given out included 30 deep freezers, 10 sewing machines, three poly tanks, three popcorn machines, two beekeeping tools, one hair drier machine, one set of shoemaking tools, and one set of computer repair tools.
He advised the beneficiaries to take advantage of this opportunity and work hard to better their lives, and promised the PWDs of the assembly’s unflinching support to their cause. He, however, admonished them to cultivate the culture of maintenance, so that the lifespan of the items they have received can be prolonged to the benefit of the people.
Mr. Dramani Katribi, Presiding Member, praised the Assembly for always trying to improve the living conditions of the beneficiaries or disabled people. He assured them that the assembly will do all within its powers to make sure all the members of the association benefit from the items.
He, however, explained that the whole idea or exercise is non-partisan, and, therefore, no one should politicise the activities of the Assembly, and that the rest of the members will be given their choice of items or tools to help them improve on their everyday live activities.
The President of the PWDs, Tokorah Dramani Joshua, thanked the administration for supporting the association. He promised, on behalf of his colleagues, that the tools would be put to good use for a better future.
A beneficiary, Bakari K Fatawu, who spoke to Pad FM on the sidelines of the ceremony, said he was overwhelmed over the tools received, and urged the Assembly to monitor activities of the beneficiaries, to make sure all tools given them are handled well and used for their intended purposes.