People Living with Disabilities (PLWDs) in Marachi East Ward in Butula Constituency of Busia County are crying foul for being neglected by both the County and National governments with regard to their welfare.
The residents of Siribo village cited many challenges PLWDs experience in earning a noble livelihood, despite having representatives at various levels in the county and nationally.
Speaking to the press, the Chairperson for PLWDs within Marachi East Ward, Henry Olevi Mula, appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene in alleviating their financial struggles, that have made it difficult for them to educate their children.
“We implore President Kenyatta to look into our affairs since we are unable to meet our financial obligations because the Cash Transfer program that had been initiated for us, has been stopped,” said Mula.
He blamed local leaders for colluding with their representatives to squander funds allocated for their welfare, claiming this has denied them chances of progressing in life, considering their physical incapacity to do regular jobs like other members of society.
Supporting Mula’s sentiments, Linus Wesonga, a member of the group lamented their predicament, claiming the County Department of Social Services has not done enough to support them, especially with regard to provision of school fees for their children.
“The Government should prioritize our plight, to enable us to pay school fees for our children,” said Wesonga, adding that whenever he visits the Social Services Department to ask for assistance, he is turned away on grounds that he is the one with disability, not his children.
The father of four is challenged with educating his children, three of whom are in secondary school and one in primary school. While speaking with the press, Wesonga pointed to one of his daughters in form Two, who had just been sent away from school due to accumulated fees arrears.
Joseph Ondusu Juma, another member of the group expressed his frustrations, claiming that elected leaders within the area have abandoned them for many years despite promises to improve their lives made during political campaigns.
Juma cited physical mobility as another challenge, claiming he has to depend on his family to move him around, a situation he noted that is very demanding and frustrating for his wife and children. “As the family head, I am not able to provide for my family,” he says.
“I appeal to the government to provide us with wheelchairs and capital, so that we are able to move around easily and lessen the burden on our family members, besides engaging ourselves in income generating activities to provide for our families,” said Juma.
Butula Constituency has four groups of PLWDs with a membership of 200 who are now appealing to Non-governmental Organizations and members of the public to support them in their livelihood activities. Over 20 PWDs persons now live in abject poverty and are in need of basic equipment to carry on their daily sustenance activity.
Mobility is an important aspect in the lives of people with disabilities (PWDs) because they are usually left out on so many activities of daily life. For the children, they are unable to play and socialise with others or go to school.
“These mobility devices are very vital in our lives because we are able to move around, play or even go to school since some of the children dropped out due to mobility issues,” Mula said, adding that this also reduces the workload and burden their caretaker has to bear.
“We, however, make sure that the devices given are not a risk to the children getting more injuries while using them,” he said.
For Help and Assistance to get wheelchairs, visit PWDs office Siribo or call 0718239988