KNA People Living With Disability in Migori County have cited inadequate entrepreneur training and lack of business funding as the greatest impediment towards their economic empowerment.
They said PLWD have little or no information on how they can source financial help from existing funding government and non-governmental institutions to implement their business ideas.
Leaders representing various PLWD groups in Migori County during their meeting in Isibania border town in Kuria West emphasized that there was a need for National Government and County Governments to draw a clear road map on how the PLWD can be empowered through business training and boosting their business initiatives.
Mr Newton Nkonya representing United Disabled People of Kenya (UPDK) advocated for the training of PLWD on how they can access government tenders and also how they can initiate sustainable business ideas.
Nkonya further proposed that businesses owned by PLWD should be given a hundred percent tax holiday by the County Government of Migori County, this being the only formula to accord them financial freedom.
Shila Adoyo representing PLWD from Suna West Sub-County lamented that women living with disability in Migori County have been reduced to beggars.
Adoyo said their push to get funding or tenders from government bodies have been frustrated over flimsy grounds such as poorly written proposals or little education among group members.
She decried that the government should consider individual economic empowerment rather than groups terming it the only way to change the lives of the PLWD. “We need individual economic empowerment not groups economic empowerment as the only solution to end our problems,” Adoyo said.
David Omuga from Uriri Sub-County reiterated that training of PLWD on how to apply government tenders and how to operate and sustain business ventures was the only way of changing the lives of disabled persons in the county.
He complained that there was no clearly documented framework on how the disabled people who are weak, poor and neglected can be assisted to lead decent lives.
Agnes Bange, Gender and Equality Officer representing the Migori County Government however said since the inception of County Government in 2013, various initiatives had been discussed on how they can improve the lives of the PLWDs.
Bange said that County Policy on PLWDs was awaiting approval by the County Assembly of Migori which she expressed confidence that will solve most challenges faced by disabled persons in the region.
But according to Nkonya, the UPDK representative, PLWDs are not aware that such policy had reached the county assembly for approval as there was no public participation done while formulating it.
Fearing bad laws affecting PLWDs could be adopted, Nkonya proposed that they should be informed of the content of the policy before approval.
The meeting was convened by the UPDK to discuss challenges faced by PLWDs while deciding their financial freedom. Inadequate capacity building and limited sources of funding were cited as the main limitations PLWDs in Migori faced.