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23.12.2005 Regional News

Guesthouse for People With Disabilities

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Damongo (NR), Dec. 23, GNA - Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Northern Regional Minister on Thursday formally inaugurated a 1.2 billion cedis guesthouse in Damongo in the West Gonja District, built for People With Disability (PWD) to generate income for them. The five-bedroom guesthouse (Mahama Guest House) is the brainchild of Mr Sampson Mahama Bokuro, a person with disability from Damongo, who sought funding from AB&P, a German-based NGO.

The guesthouse also has a restaurant, drinking bar, conference hall and a recreational centre and has employed some of the people with disabilities including a sign language interpreter to train and interpret to the rest of the staff.

Alhaji Boniface described the facility as a relief to some of the people living with disability in the West Gonja District, since it would generate income for them to improve their living standards. He advised authorities and workers of the House to always keep the facility clean and let their prices be moderate to attract customers. The West Gonja District chairman of the Ghana Society of the Physically Challenged Mr Sampson Mahama Bokuro, said proceeds from the facility would be used to purchase wheel chairs, sewing machines and other income generating materials to assist members of PWD in the country.

He said the mission of AB&P is to help people with special needs and that the NGO gave seed money for the set up of the facility, which enabled him to use his own blocks for the building. Mr Mahama said apart from the building, the NGO had helped the Society in many ways in the three Northern regions.

He mentioned the setting up of food processing centres equipped with machines at Paga in the Upper East Region and Nadowli in the Upper West Region to help those there to process their own food. He said similar assistance had been extended to those in Bolgatanga, Wa and other areas of the north to learn batik tie and dye, weaving, biscuit and macaroni preparation and equipped them with machines for groundnuts and shea butter processing. Mr Mahama appealed to the government and the public particularly, building contractors to consider the plight of the PWDs and factor them in when they construct building to give equal access to them. He thanked AB&P for the gesture and appealed to the government to pass the Disability Bill currently before Parliament to help improve the lives of the People With Disabilities.

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