The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Bongo in the Upper East Region, Mr. Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga has assured members of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations in the district that, the Assembly will not divert statutory funds meant for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) not matter the financial difficulties the Assembly may be facing.
The DCE gave the assurance in an address he delivered on Tuesday December 4, 2018 at a ceremony to disburse funds to some 58 beneficiaries selected from across the district. This assurance is timely as it comes just a day after the celebration of the International Day for PWDs.
According Mr. Ayamga, the disbursement which totaled 65,634.00 Ghana Cedis was the 3rd to be done by the Assembly in 2018 as some two earlier disbursements had already taken place amounting to 113,089.50 Ghana Cedis. He gave the breakdown as 47,776 Ghana Cedis covering income-generation activities, start-up capital and expansion of business while 6,125 Ghana Cedis was for beneficiaries under apprenticeship. An amount of 1,837 was disbursed for health-related needs of the PWDs while Advocacy and Organisational Development received disbursements of 4,075.00 Ghana Cedis and 5,821.00 Ghana Cedis respectively.
He pledged that under his administration, the Assembly will not discriminate against any person as a result of his/her disability as he believes that, every individual in the district had a peculiar skill or talent that could impact positively on development in the area. He noted that consequently, each person therefore deserved his/her fair share of the “national cake” and that, this was the rationale behind government’s increasing of the Disability Fund from two to 3% which merits commendation from the public.
The DCE however, apologised for the long waiting period since the last disbursement explaining that, the Disability Fund Management Committee (DFMC) had to take its time to vet before approving the numerous applications it had received. Aside this he added that, some other procedures such as following the Public Financial Management protocols and the Public Procurement Act all contributed to delaying the disbursement schedule. He observed that the eventual disbursement was a means of giving PWDs the necessary support and resources to make them self-sufficient and skillful to enable them live dignified lives while earning from sustainable sources of livelihoods.
Mr. Ayamga disclosed that an additional amount of 18,170.00 Ghana Cedis has been approved for the procurement of various items including deep freezers, tricycles and sewing machines among other equipment for economic activities by beneficiary PWDs. Meanwhile, a further 28,200 has also been approved for the purchase of animals such as goats and sheep for some 52 PWDs to start a rearing scheme.
He revealed that the Bongo Assembly had registered close to 4,000 PWDs in the area and admonished the recipients against misapplying the funds given them stressing that, they would be monitored and anyone found to have indulged in frivolous spending of the cash would not be considered in future disbursements. The DCE was also alarmed by the high disability numbers in his district and called for a scientific and health research to be conducted into the possible causes of disabilities amongst his citizens and to also seek rapid solutions to the menace.
Bongo District Chapter President of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations, Mr. Clement Mba in his remarks, thanked government for the upward review of the quantum of the Disability Fund and appealed for further increment to about five percent since the numbers and needs of PWDs also continue to increase with time.
The beneficiaries were paid via cheques while some others were to receive their package in the form of fridges and sewing machines as stated earlier.
Source: Peter Atogewe Wedam (ISD)