Disabled tell truth team about neglect

Wycliffe Kepha Anyanzwa at his workshop in Buruburu, Nairobi. He uses his engineering skills learnt abroad to modify cars for the disabled. Photo/FILE

Wycliffe Kepha Anyanzwa at his workshop in Buruburu, Nairobi. He uses his engineering skills learnt abroad to modify cars for the disabled. Photo/FILE

By MIKE MWANIKI mmwaniki@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Thursday, February 16  2012 at  22:30

Unemployment, inadequate funding and discrimination are some of the challenges facing the 3.5 million people living with disabilities in Kenya, the truth team heard on Thursday.

 Speaking at a public hearing of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission at the KICC, National Council for Persons with Disabilities director Phoebe Nyagudi said lack of funding hampered the carrying out a census on the number of people living with disabilities.

“Of the Sh1 billion budgetary allocation we requested, we were allocated only Sh285 million, which was inadequate,” Ms Nyagudi said.

She said it was important to know the number instead of relying on estimates.

Ms Nyagudi said most of the Sh285 million was used to set up programmes for the disabled at the grassroots, providing training and paying allowances to affected people.

She appealed to the government to ensure that the Disability Act was implemented so all buildings and bus stops had ramps for easier access.

United Disabled Persons of Kenya programme officer Joseph Njenga said the basic rights of the disabled should be enshrined in the Constitution.

A father of a 12-year-old disabled girl, Mr James Shiroko, told the hearing that some families were perpetrating abuses such as rape and discrimination against their disabled relatives.

“We have policies on the disabled which sound good on paper but are not effectively implemented. For example, a majority of the disabled who require constant medical treatment complain that they undergo trauma when accessing treatment,” Mr Shiroko said.

He also complained that some matatu crews charged the disabled more due to the space they occupied.

Mr Shiroko said a requirement that a disabled person should possess a driver’s licence before importing a tax free vehicle was discriminatory.

The Kenya Association of the Intellectually Handicapped, Ms Fatuma Wangari told the panel of commissioners led by Tecla Namachanja Wanjala that cases of sexual abuse remained high among those with intellectual disability.



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