Persons living with disabilities in Marsabit County have received equipment and livelihood support valued atSh.900, 000 from the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya (NFDK).
Speaking at the Marsabit County headquarters Friday, when she distributed tools of trade, assistive devices and issued a cheque worth Sh.285, 000 to enable some of the beneficiaries to purchase livestock, a member of the fund’s board of trustees Prof Julia Ojiambo, underscored the need to fully effect the 30 per cent clause on public procurement opportunities set aside for disadvantaged groups.
During the function, 23 out of 42 beneficiaries drawn from across the county were presented with wheelchairs, tricycles, crutches, white canes, sewing machines, barber kits and carpentry tool kits.
Prof. Ojiambo said the remaining 19 of the beneficiaries opted for livestock to enhance their livelihoods and each of them will receive goats worth Sh.15, 000.
In addition, she disclosed that list of 245 of physically challenged persons whose names were submitted to the organization in November in 2017 would also be considered for necessary help.
Prof. Ojiambo said the overall objective of NFDK was to tap on the potential of people living with disabilities by providing them with tools of trade that would not only provide them with income but make them self-reliant.
I am urging you to be our ambassadors in spreading information to disabled persons out there, who have no yet to come out and be assisted, to apply for help through their respective chiefs and social development offices near them, she said.
Reacting to complaints from the local county coordinator of social development, Esther Chiwe that the regulation on the one third tender awards to the youth, women and people living with disabilities has never benefitted a single case in Marsabit County, Prof. Ojiambo called on the directorate of procurement to urgently streamline the process.
The move was an affirmative action to empower not only the disabled but also the youth and women, by giving them chance to do business with the government as was the case with the rest in society, she pointed out, adding that both levels of government should see to it that the anomaly is rectified.
In her remarks, Chiwe said NFDK has in the last three year spent Sh.2, 475,000 in purchasing livestock for needy persons living with disabilities in which 154 households have benefitted across the county.
She said that the programme that started in 2016 has seen beneficiaries grow their herds to over 20 goats, which were now a source of stable livelihood as they provided them with milk, while he-goats are sold to generate income.
The coordinator cited rough terrain and long distances to outlying parts of the county as a major hindrance to delivering the individual assistance from the fund, which Prof. Ojiambo said would be addressed by the board.
Area Assistant County Commissioner, Samuel Gichohi, standing in for County Commissioner, Gilbert Kitiyo, advised the beneficiaries to put the equipment given to them and other forms of support into proper use saying it was a step towards poverty alleviation.
He asked local communities not to hide family members born with physical challenges, but to instead register them with the relevant authorities so that they could be assisted to actualize their potential.
Source: Kenya News Agency