The Bongo District Disability Organization celebrates a world disability day on the theme: “NOT ALL DISABILITY ARE VISIBLE”.
Mr. Clement Mba the president of Bongo District Disability Organization in his welcome address said, 3rd December of every year has been designated by UN as world Disability day, which is a day set aside for advocacy on issues of disability. However, this year’s celebration was brought forward due to Ghana’s presidential and parliamentary elections in the December 2020.
The aim of celebrating the day is to enhance an understanding of persons with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being. He said the theme for this year’s celebration is appropriate and timely because the needs and aspirations of PWDs are not yet sufficiently incorporated in to the policies of government, various departments and agencies and therefore needs an urgent attention by all stakeholders.
He indicated that according to 2010 Population and Housing Census, the total population of PWDs in Bongo district was 4063, which represents 4.8% of the total population in the district and this clearly indicate that the district has a large number of its population being PWDs and therefore the need for them to be given more attention.
He however conveyed the association gratitude to the Bongo District Assembly for giving them two (2) motor tricycles (motor king) to convey members to and from meetings at the district capital and however appealed to the Assembly to provide electricity and portable water to the Disability Resource Centre and also gravel the road leading to the facility to ease accessibility.
To the central government, he expressed an appreciation to the president, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo Addo for increasing their share of the DACF from 2% to 3% and also appointing one of the PWDs Mr. Joseph Makubu as a Regional minister of Oti Region.
Mr. Clement made an appeal to NGOs, institutions, policy makers and well-meaning individuals to work hand in hand towards integrating the disabled in to mainstreaming of society.
The Honorable District Chief Executive (DCE) of Bongo represented by Madam Patience Biah in his speech said, the theme for this year’s world Disabled day celebration draws our attention to other forms of disability such as autism, epilepsy, learning disabilities, personality disorders and anxiety disorders and therefore draws our attention to the fact that there is a broad list of persons who live with disabilities whom we may not be paying attention to.
He says the Bongo District Assembly under his leadership has shown sufficient commitment to issues of disability in the district. Upon his assumption in office as a DCE, he was informed of a construction of a Resource Centre for PWDs which had halted, and knowing the challenges PWDs face and the opportunities such a facility shall offer, he was able to lobby and construction resumed.
Today the facility is completed and resourced to enable the organization to make good use of it. However, what remains to be done with is the issue of electricity to the facility and accessibility to, which the District Assembly is still working tirelessly on it.
The DCE also assured them of disbursement of their fund to them very soon as the District Fund Management Committee (DFMC) met and memos have been forwarded to him and have been worked on. He admonished all the PWDs to adhere to covid-19 safety protocols in order not to fall victims of the pandemic as some have already fallen in the District.
Mr. Atayaaba Justuce who represented the District Director for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (HRAJ) at the event as a word of education and sensitization said, as people living with disability, they have equal rights with persons without disability in all sphere of life and therefore should not be discriminated against in any form. He advised that whenever anyone’s rights is being infringed upon by an institution or an individual such a person can seek redress from Human Rights or any other appropriate authority.
The District director for NCCE, Madam Alice Ndeogo who was chairperson of the function in her closing remarks thanked the association for seeing her worthy to chair that fantastic function. She urged everyone not to discriminate against persons with disability but rather encourage them and make society comfortable and friendly for them so that we can all live together as one people with common goal.
Source: Paulina Abebisa (District Officer ISD)