NONDO HOLDS THE FIRST DISABILITY FORUM IN MARSABIT COUNTY
When persons with disabilities are included, it is a progress to the society and sustainable development can be achieved. Well, NONDO thrives in advocating for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in pastoral communities.
On 9th September 2020, NONDO conducted the first ever disability forum in Marsabit County, with an aim of conducting the intrinsic costs of corruption among persons with disabilities in that county. The meeting brought together both right holders and duty-bearers. Among them included the Director of Social Services –Mohammed Galgallo, MCA, National Council Representative, PWDs among other Marsabit county representatives. The meeting was held at the serene environs of Nomads Trails located at the town of Marsabit Town.
Joseph Otieno, the Programs Coordinator(NONDO) took the time to present on the areas of human rights of the PWDs and the entire audience. In his presentation, he centered on the Disability Act 2003and the UNCRPD. He explained to the audience that according to the Constitution of Kenya under the Bill of Rights recognizes in Article 54 that persons with disabilities are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect and not to be referred to in a manner that is demeaning, to access educational institutions and facilities, to reasonable access to all places, public transport and information, to use sign language, Braille or other appropriate means of communication and to access materials and device.
The next session was presentation on the opportunities available at county level and how to access them, which was done by the County Official of Marsabit. Some of the available opportunities include: bursaries, tenders, quality healthcare, social protection services just to mention few. This session was one with questions and heated debate on why they were unable to access some of the services. Amidst the heated debate ,there was some good news. The Director of Social Services, Mohamed Galgallo who is physically impaired, noted that, since his appointment, one of the strides they had as a county is that they had employed twenty- two persons with disabilities in various departments in the county. As a matter of fact, they were formulating social protection policy and gender policy which was ongoing to support the needs of vulnerable groups. National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWDs) Disability Officer, Marsabit County, Mohamud A. Kulula explained to the audience in local language the services available at National Council for Persons with Disabilities and how they can be accessed.
Persons with disabilities expressed some of the challenges they face in accessing the services as corruption, lack of inclusivity of PWD representative in boards like employment and tender boards. Among other challenges included lack of nurses who are qualified in sign language in the health sector. This lead to deliberations on how the service providers will ensure PWDs access these services by mitigating the challenges they face.
Therefore a work plan was developed with responsible persons and NONDO promised to follow-up and see that all PWDs are included and access available services and we are certain that the service providers will bridge the gaps in accessing essential services.