The Federation of Disability Organization has called on government and other stakeholders to develop policies responsive to the plight of persons with disability to create an integrated society with equal opportunities for all vulnerable persons.
Mr Clement Mba, President of the Federation of Disability Organization, Bongo Chapter, said persons with disability were neglected and and denied support to empower them to live dignified lives.
Mr Mba made this during the Bongo District chapter’s celebration of the international day of the disabled on the theme, “not all disabilities are visible.”
The International Day of the Disabled, designated by the United Nations and celebrated December 3, each year, was to highlight challenges facing persons with disability and advocate proposals to addressing them.
At the celebration, the federation demonstrated their pleas through placards with inscriptions such as “include PWDs in decision making at all levels of governance, give persons with disability a quota in youth employment agency and nation builders corps, make all public places accessible to PWDs now!, stop discrimination against PWDs and respect persons with disability among others”.
The Bongo Chapter President noted that about 15 percent of the world’s population were disabled and added that the 2010 Population and Housing Census conducted in Ghana suggested that about 4,063, representing 4.8 percent were disabled in the Bongo District.
“Out of this number, the difficulty seeing constitutes 38.5 percent, the physically challenged 23.3 percent, the difficulty hearing 21.8 percent and those with speech impairment 10.8 percent. This clearly shows that the District has a large number of its population being PWDs hence the need for them to be given a lot more attention,” he added.
Mr Mba explained that despite the huge numbers of disabled people across the country, their challenges and aspirations had not yet been sufficiently incorporated into the policies and programmes of various departments and agencies to create a society for PWDs to participate fully in nation building.
He said, “besides socializing ourselves at public functions, it remains our right to participate in such functions and contribute our quota to the development of our nation Ghana” adding that society continued to put barriers that made it difficult them to participate in governance.
Mr Mba said despite the passage of the Disability Act of 2006, Act 715 by Parliament, many of the public buildings were still not accessible to persons with disability and while discrimination was still practised in society against them.
“I maybe sounding emotional but it is facts that must be laid bare for society to change their attitude towards us so that we can peacefully co-exist and equally enjoy the fruits of creation. Empowering us should imply loving, caring and providing us with the necessary assistance to work for ourselves,”
While acknowledging President Akufo-Addo for increasing the disability fund from two percent to three and appointing Mr Joseph Makubu as Minister-designate for the Oti, who is disabled, Mr Mba indicated that the federation needed more opportunities to empower them to live dignified lives.
Mr Mba who lauded the efforts of Mr Peter Ayamga Ayinbisa, the Acting District Chief Executive for the area and the Bongo District Assembly for supporting the federation over the years, appealed to the Acting DCE and the Assembly to assist in constructing a motorable road leading to their completed resource centre.
“I finally wish to appeal to the DCE to fast track the provision of electricity and potable water at the facility as well as gravel the road to ease accessibility to the place. We will very much appreciate also if a cleaner and security is provided at the place,” he added.