For more than a year, Persons with Disability (PWDs) in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region have not received their 3% disability fund from the District Assembly.
From the last two quarters of 2020 and the whole of 2021, the District Assembly has not been able to disburse to persons living with disability their share of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF).
The situation coupled with the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic is having a toll on the livelihood of the vulnerable group, compelling many into begging for alms to survive.
This came to light at a training of trainers' workshop on Civic rights and responsibilities of women, youth and PWDs relative to the COVID-19 pandemic, organised in Paga, the District Capital.
It was organized by the Research, Gender and Equality Department of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under its Green and Inclusive Recovery Project.
Mr Samuel Songojei Bendoore, the Kassena-Nankana West District President of Federation of Disability Organization (GFD), said at the same period, beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) had not also received their monies.
“We do not know why they have not made the transfers of the disability fund but everything is being blamed on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the change of government,” he added.
He said although, they were aware that begging was a crime in Ghana, some of their members did not have any option than to beg on the streets to survive as most of them were jobless and appealed to the government to release funds to the Assemblies to make the payment.
“Due to COVID-19, the organizations which used to support us have stopped coming and except the few of us who are still engaged in small businesses such as farming, many PWDs are struggling to survive,” he stressed.
Mr Edward Akolgo, an Assistant Director at the District Assembly, who confirmed the situation, said the Assembly had not received DACF from central government for the past four quarters and assured the PWDs that, they would disburse to them anytime it was received.
Dr Henrietta Asante-Sarpong, the Director of Research, Gender and Equality, NCCE, explained that the project with support from the UNDP was being implemented in five districts across the country aimed at understanding the raging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, youth and PWDs, especially access to their fundamental human rights.
She noted that the training workshop was to empower leaders of the vulnerable groups to in turn train their members on how to recover from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and be able to access their human rights and perform their civic responsibilities.
Dr Asante-Sarpong said the COVID-19 had affected people's access to sustainable livelihoods, quality education and healthcare and the vulnerable groups such as the women, youth and PWDs were the most affected, hence the need to help them recover and live dignified lives.
Madam Joyce Effutu, the National Communication Director of the NCCE urged the participants to continue to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols to ensure that the virus was defeated.
The participants included; various youth and women groups and persons living with various forms of disabilities.