An advocacy project for persons with disabilities (PWDs) has taken off in 10 districts in the Volta Region.
The $99,759 project is being undertaken by Voice Ghana, a disability organisation in the region, with funding from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) for a period of two years.
Beneficiaries of the project are 20 disability self-help groups (SHGs) drawn from the Akatsi-South, Akatsi-North, Ketu-North, Ketu-South, Nkwanta -South, Nkwanta-North, Krachi-East, North-Dayi, Ho-West and Central-Tongu districts.
They would be strengthened to build on their skills in advocating their rights and influencing local development and civic decision-making processes.
The project will also collate development priorities from beneficiary PWDs to inform the petition to district assemblies for inclusion in the respective medium term development plans (MTDPs) and consolidated budgets for PWDs.
According to the director for Voice Ghana, Mr Francis Asong, the 1992 Constitution and the Persons with Disability Act provide the legal framework for persons with disabilities to exercise their civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights on equal basis with others.
He also said there was a political shift towards decentralisation since 1988, with decision making and resource allocation being deployed from central to local assemblies through the district assemblies as was stipulated in the Local Government Act of 1993 and other local government policies and legislative framework, adding that this shift offered greater opportunities for every citizen, including PWDs, to influence local development and decision-making processes.
Mr Asong, therefore, said the project would afford public- hearing processes, including town hall meetings, so as to start demanding benefits from provisions of public goods and services, as well as community development programmes.
He said at the end of it all, the PWDs could demand their fair share in pro-poor packages such as LESDEP, the two per cent District Assemblies Common Fund earmarked for persons with disabilities in each district assembly and youth employment.
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