BY: Ezekiel E. Sottie
Three hundred and twenty-eight Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the Upper Manya Krobo District in the Eastern Region have received support from the assembly at a ceremony at Asesewa.
While 80 of them received cash, the remaining 248 were given various items such as farm inputs, deep freezers, industrial sewing machines, wheelchairs, shoe-making machines, fishing net, barbering tools, phone repair kits and photo printer machine.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Upper Manya Krobo District, Mr Felix Natey Odjao, who addressed the PWDs, said one of the most important responsibilities of any government was the provision of social intervention programmes and projects that enhanced the lives of the needy and the vulnerable in society.
“This goes a long way to alleviate the suffering such vulnerable people endure and reduces the burden on their immediate families in providing for them,” he stressed.
Mr Odjao claimed that under the Fourth Republic the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had undoubtedly established more effective, efficient and sustainable social interventions than any government.
He mentioned the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the School Feeding Programme, the Capitation Grant For Basic Schools, Free Maternal Health for Pregnant Women, the National Youth Employment Programme and Planting for Food and Jobs.
He said the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would continue to place emphasis on the adage that “disability is not inability” and, therefore, the government had put in place a more sustainable and efficient programme to assist the PWDs to contribute effectively to the development of their communities and the nation at large.
The DCE said the current administration was providing working tools and input for the PWDs to enable them to undertake their own economic activities instead of letting them wait for cash reliefs.
He added that “this makes them more of citizens than spectators”.
Mr Odjao said the Department of Social Welfare would continue to quarterly monitor and supervise the effective utilisation of the items presented to ensure that they were indeed being used to improve the lives of the people.
He stated that one of the challenges the district was facing was the fact that some of the PWDs who were living with one disability or the other had not registered, which made it very difficult for them to be identified and assisted.
He, therefore, appealed to the assembly members, community leaders and religious leaders to help identify such people to enable the assembly to help them.
Member of Parliament
The Member of Parliament for Upper Manya Krobo, who is also the deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Joseph Tetteh, said there was the need to sympathise with such unfortunate people in society.
He expressed his profound gratitude to the President for his response and intervention to improve conditions of PWDs, adding that “it is better to be given a fishing net than to be given fish directly”.