The National Government through the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya (NFDK), has issued equipment worth Sh1.1 million, to Persons with Disability (PWDs) in Homa Bay County.
The equipment included farming and carpentry tools, sewing machines, barber and hair salon kits, welding materials, knitting machines, tricycles and wheelchairs.
Speaking to KNA in Homa Bay town after presenting the equipment to the beneficiaries, NFDK Assistant Programme Manager, Isaac Aliya, said that the initiative seeks to help uplift the economic status of PWDs in the country, adding that there are a total of 90 beneficiaries within Homa Bay.
“27 of them are from Suba South, 19 from Mbita, 20 from Homa Bay Town Sub-county, and 24 from Rangwe. So far we are through with Homa Bay and Rangwe and set to wind-up in Suba South and Mbita,” he stated.
He said that the NFDK has been assisting PWDs in the country, both at individual level and through various institutions, in the form of grants and scholarships.
The Fund has also assisted in the construction of various schools, such as Lake Primary School, Nyabera Primary as well as Nyagidha Primary School in Homa Bay County.
“We have been issuing assistive devices for PWDs who are unable to walk, see or hear as well as equipment meant for economic use, there are also various flagship programs that are aimed at assisting in the construction of infrastructure for schools, as well as scholarship programs,” stated Isaac.
He, however, explained that the initiative was still unable to grow to its full potential due to lack of sensitization among the PWDs on the existence of assistive government avenues and budget limitations.
“Majority of PWDs are unaware of the existence of the Fund and other avenues used by the government to offer assistance to them,” explained Isaac.
Pamela Akoth, a beneficiary of the fund from Gem Central within Rangwe Sub-county, expressed her gratitude to the National Government for the initiative to put PWDs at par with their physically advantaged counterparts economically.
Akoth, who received farm tools that she had applied for in 2018, explained that the equipment would help improve her vegetable and cassava yields.
“The farm tools will help put more money into my pocket, as well as my fellow PWDs who received different items today,” said Akoth.
The County Social Development Officer, Makini Fredrick, implored the beneficiaries to use the equipment responsibly to ensure their economic growth.
“We are coordinating with national government officials (NGAO) to ensure the beneficiaries utilize the tools issued today individually or through their immediate proxies in a way that will put money in their pockets,” stated Makini.
Even as he called on more PWDs to apply for the fund, the Administrator warned those seeking to sell the equipment, saying that legal action would be taken against them.