The Municipal Chief Executive for Obuasi Elijah Adansi-Bonah has hinted that the Municipal Assembly is keen on empowering persons with disability to acquire skills to enable them function effectively to become economically independent.
Speaking to the media at a short ceremony to distribute items to some PWDs in the Obuasi Municipality, the MCE said the Assembly as part of its 2023 budget made provisions for the PWDs to acquire skills at the Obuasi Training and Rehabilitation Center.
The center which was built by Anglogold Ashanti with the support of the Obuasi Municipal Assembly is intended to provide hands-on training for the physically challenged to enhance their employability through demand-driven skills.
The MCE said there are plans to put in place boarding facilities at the center to take care of pwds outside Obuasi who want to access the facility.
17 PWDs benefit from the Disability Fund
The MCE distributed items such as Knitting machines, fufu pounding machines and deep freezers to 12 PWDs whiles five (5) people also benefited from educational and medical support all amounting to GHS57,565.69.
The disbursement forms part of the disability fund. As part of efforts to empower Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), the government of Ghana in 2005 introduced the disability Fund, which is a 3% deduction from the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) for inclusiveness.
The disability fund among many other things is to support and equip PWDs in economic and business ventures as well as provide educational/training support and medical/health support to make them functional in life and society.
The Common Fund Administrator after the introduction of the Fund directed that 10 per cent be allocated for education/training, 10 per cent for medicals and assistive devices, 75 per cent for economic and business ventures, and 5 % be for administrative costs.
Honourable Elijah Adansi-Bonah said the Assembly has been transparent in its disbursement of the fund over the years.
He averred that the beneficiaries have to go through some laid down vetting processes before they can benefit from the fund. This he said has culminated into the successes the Municipality has chalked in the disbursement of the disability fund.
"The introduction of the fund since the Act was passed in 2006 has led to improvement in the living conditions of persons with disability in Obuasi and the country at large. It is even rare to see PWDs begging for alms on the streets these days".
He again revealed that auditors will soon be deployed to ensure that beneficiaries use the items for their intended purpose as has been done previously.
PWDs need support beyond the disability fund
Karim Iddrisu, President of Ghana Federation of Disable Federation in Obuasi also appealed to other Government agencies such as Ghana Enterprises Agency to extend business support to PWDs who want to go into business.
He said though the items distributed to them are very important, they will need financial support to enable them start their businesses. He however appealed to GEA to make provision for PWDs in terms of soft loans and grants.
The beneficiaries thanked Government for the gesture but appealed to the general public to patronise their items and not discriminate against them.