BY RAPHAEL WANJALA
Persons Living with Disabilities in Matete Sub County, Lugari Constituency, have raised concern over the failure of their members to be registered and issued with disability identification cards.
The group has said that failure to get registered by the National Council of Persons with Disability has made them miss out on various government services and exemptions.
KASA Disability group chair, Kennedy Makokha, said some of their members have not been issued with the disability identification cards for about 7 years since their first application.
“It is disheartening that some of our members have been waiting for these cards since 2017. Our regional coordinator keeps saying that the Council does not have funds to print the cards,” said Makokha.
Makokha was speaking at Maturu Special School where the group had a precursor meeting to the International Day of Persons with Disability.
Makokha said that is was wrong for people to wait that long as they were missing out on key services like bursaries, tax exemptions and even job opportunities.
“We are missing out on various services including tax exemptions. When we apply for bursaries for our children, or apply for jobs we are required to attach a copy of the card as proof of disability and without them our applications get rejected.”
Group Secretary, Lawrence Michi, said there has been a tedious process recently for people to be registered for the cards.
Michi said they had to go through a tedious process that starts from assessment from a medical doctor at a government health facility and then vetting process and then move with the forms to the Council offices.
“The process of getting the cards is also a long one and at times some of our members come from humble backgrounds and the money required for assessment in hospitals.”
Lwandeti MCA, Dan Mukhwami said the Kakamega County Government had waived the assessment fees in all health facilities and those seeking the service should take advantage.
Mukhwami said Kakamega Governor, Fernandez Baraza, had issued and signed the decree earlier this year and any medical officer still asking for the same action will be taken against them.
“Our governor waved the assessment fees in our county and any officer doing that report them to us and we will take disciplinary action against them.”
According to the World Health Organization, the day is celebrated every December 3 to promote the rights and well being of persons with disabilities at every level of society and development.
The day also seeks to raise awareness on the situation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of political, social, economic and cultural life.
This year’s theme is “United in action to rescue and achieve SDGs for, with and by persons with disabilities.”