Persons living with disability disown county COVID sensitization program.

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The ministry of health which had been scheduled to brief the PLWD on COVID 19 never had the chance to do so due to a hostile audience.

Story/Timothy Wekesa.

A meeting between the office of the governor and persons living with disability in Bungoma county nearly came to an end after the ministry of gender and culture introduced a centrally agenda in the meeting.

Governor Wycliffe Wafula Wangamati is said to have convened the meeting to discuss the plight of the PLWD in Bungoma County.

This was necessitated by wrangles in the county department of persons living with disability which has resulted in several demonstrations in the past.

PLWD in the county arrived at Mabanga ATC with hope that their voice would be heard only to realize that the program had been shifted to COVID sensitization, which they rejected in one accord.

“We are not going to allow this meeting to be used to justify COVID expenditure because we know that persons living with disability have not been sensitized accordingly,” said Adrian Sakwa, the chairperson of Disability Empowerment Network.

His sentiments were reiterated by Dominick Nyongesa, a resident of Mikayu village who also lives with disability.

“We have never been sensitized and we do not expect corona issues in this forum, we just want to engage our governor on the challenges we go through but not anything else.”

They decried that their department has had a huge leadership hitch under their chairman Titus Ndalu whom they have always been at loggerheads with.

“Corona numbers are going down and bringing the issue to us at this moment shows that we must come last which we do not agree with,” added Nyongesa.

They refused to listen to Titus Ndalu and hurled unbearable words at him forcing Boniface Nyongesa who is the public relations director in the office of the governor to intervene.

They have blamed him for being too selective in his programs and sidelining the majority.

The ministry of health which had been scheduled to brief the PLWD on COVID 19 never had the chance to do so due to a hostile audience.

They also demanded governor Wangamati to change their leadership and introduce a disability desk in his office to respond to their challenges.

“We have been finding a rough time to access the office with reasons not known despite being given the first priority to vote in time of election. This must change,” said Dominic.

The issue of disability tools also came up in the meeting; they asked the county government of Bungoma to procure wheel chairs and Bicycles to enable their swift movement.

It should also be noted that budget allocation towards persons living with disability has been negligible, raising eyebrows on the manner in which they are treated.

“It has been the case each financial year, centrally to article 43 and article 54 of the constitution and it has punished us greatly,” said Sakwa.

However, governor Wangamati has assured them that their grievances will be factored in the supplementary budget.

It should be remembered that the disability sports team had to demonstrate severally and even sleep at the governor’s office overnight for neglect allegations.

The county government of Bungoma is also formulating a disability policy which will become the first out of the 47 counties. It is expected to change the manner in which disability issues are handled.

“We are in the process of getting that policy passed by the county assembly. It is going to be the first among the 47 counties. This policy will guide us on loans and grants for people living with disability,” said Governor Wangamati.

They are demanding for a new leadership structure.

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