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31.08.2005 Regional News

Physically Challenged in Upper West Region benefit from HIPC Funds


Wa, Aug. 31, GNA - Mr Lawrence Azzam, Upper West Regional Director of the Department of Social Welfare on Wednesday said 70 million cedis from the HIPC Funds had been allocated for the physically challenged in the Region under the Micro Loan Scheme.

Addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Upper West Regional branch of the Ghana Association of the Blind (GAB) at Wa, Mr Azzam said Lawra and Nadowli districts were among 20 other districts nation-wide selected to benefit from a one billion cedis HIPC fund allocated for the physically challenged.

He said 60 physically challenged in the two districts had been registered to benefit from the scheme while modalities for the disbursement of the loan from the bank were being worked out. Mr Azzam said the region was the only one without a Regional Rehabilitation Centre for the physically challenged to be trained in vocational skills for their livelihood.

He said the physically challenged in the region were sent to Bolgatanga or Tamale to acquire the skills and therefore, appealed to the Government to help establish such a Centre for the region. Most Reverend Paul Bemile, Catholic Bishop of Wa, commended the Methodist Church of Ghana for establishing the Wa school for the blind. The Catholic Church has also established a School for the Deaf at Wa.

He appealed to the Government to extend the Capitation Grant under the FCUBE to cover the physically challenged to enable them acquire the needed skills and refrain from begging for alms on the streets. Mr Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister said the Regional Co-ordinating Council had taken note of the problems of the blind and assured them that they would be addressed.

He appealed to associations formed by the physically challenged to step up their advocacy activities for other stakeholders to assist in finding solutions to their problems.