The Tema office of the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development has been given a three-week ultimatum to disburse the disability fund or lose it.
The Parliamentary Committee on Local Government and Rural Development issued the ultimatum after paying an oversight visit to the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA).
Members of the Committee made up of Mr Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuaye, the ranking member and Member of Parliament for Odododiodio, Mr Ibrahim Ahmed, MP for Banda and First Minority Whip, Mr Dominic Napare, MP for Sene East and Mr Ampem Nyarko, MP for Asuogyaman, expressed their disappointment at the inability of the Department to disburse some GHs 222,000 lodged in its accounts.
The Committee Members noted that after the expiration of the three weeks, they would notify District Assemblies Common Fund Administrator to withhold the release of the three per cent of the District Assemblies Common Fund allocated for disability issues.
The members, who did not hide their disapproval of the delay of the disbursement since its last disbursement in May 2018, said “the fund is for the benefit of people with disability not for decoration”.
Mr Vanderpuaye, who did not mince words on the performance of the Department, asked why the Department had only registered about 315 persons with disability in the Tema Metropolis.
He questioned why urban centres were not doing enough with the disability fund while those in the rural areas were making significant gains adding that “you cannot tell me that there are more disables in Banda than Tema, they need to do more to identify and help them”.
He announced that the Committee was considering recommending more funding for areas that had identified more disables while those with few would receive less.
Meanwhile, Madam Matilda Mahama, Tema Metropolitan Director of Social Welfare and Community Development, told the Committee that her outfit was currently interviewing applicants to determine beneficiaries.
Madam Mahama added that the jurisdiction used to have over 2,000 identified disables but many of them were now under the Tema West Municipal Assembly which was ceded from TMA.
According to her, they often visit meeting grounds of the associations for hearing impairment, visually impairment, the physically challenged and albinos and encouraged them to register with the Department adding that Community Development officers also identified some of the persons living with disability during their rounds in communities.