The National Council for Persons with Disabilities(NCPWDS) Executive Director Harun Hassan has urged persons living with disabilities in West Pokot County to register with the organization in order to access government funding and improve their livelihoods.
In an interview at the Kapenguria offices for persons living with disabilities, Hassan said the registration would enable the listed persons to enjoy the various services being offered by the government including assistive devices, economic empowerment, education assistance, infrastructure and equipment grants, cash transfers, Albinism sunscreen, support programs, job placements and legal advisory services.
“By registering with the Council, persons with disabilities will benefit a lot from the government’s aid meant to improve their living standards,” said Hassan.
He pointed out that registration with NCPWDs is a prerequisite for any assistance meant for the disabled by the government.
The Executive Director said the Council aims at stemming stigmatization and abuse of the disabled and any registered member will be protected from any form of discrimination and allowed full participation in all activities of the council.
On his part, Senior Disabilities Services Officer, working with (NCPWDs) in West Pokot County, Edwin Kiprotich, said people should stop viewing disabled people as objects of sympathy and charity, but rather see them as citizens who need to be empowered and involved in the socio-economic development of the country.
Kiprotich thanked the Government of Kenya for the many assistance and empowerment programs meant for persons with disabilities in West Pokot County and the country at large.
For instance, a total of 29 secondary students from West Pokot County got full scholarships from NCPWDs for their secondary education and we have also supported others in primary, colleges, vocational training institutes and even universities, he added.
“A person with a disability or his/her guardian can apply for education support whether in secondary, tertiary colleges, vocational training, university and special schools,” Kiprotich told needy and vulnerable students who have some form of severe disability.
He said through the Cash Transfer for Persons with disabilities (PWSD-CT), persons with disabilities registered by the government receive Sh2000 per household per month, delivered every two months through their bank accounts.
Through the Council, people with disabilities also receive economic grants for starting up businesses.
Consequently, Kiprotich urged those who want to venture into a business that they stand to benefit from government funds if they register themselves with Council.
At the same time, Persons with Severe Disabilities registered with the National Treasury under Access to Government Procurement Opportunities, have been befitting from contracts awarded by the government procuring entities without any discrimination.
“Through registration, persons with disabilities also stand a chance to benefit from the Council through funds or grants that the government gives to Self Help Groups as an Empowerment to the community,” noted Kiprotich.
He said so far the Council has been assisting those registered through economic grants and training them on how to access the loans for growing their business as a way of making them gain self-sufficiency in generating income.
The supervisory visit forum by the Executive Director to West Pokot County, brought together members of NCPWDs and the officers from the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection based in the region, among other government officers.
NCPWDs is a state corporation established by an Act of Parliament in November 2004, whose core mandate is to promote and protect equalization of opportunities and realization of human rights for people living with disabilities to live decent lives.