5m Ghanaians Are Disabled
CURRENT STATISTICS indicate that about five million people in Ghana are living with various forms of disability, the Ashanti Regional Co-ordinator of NADMO, Kwaku Aninkora Sie, has announced.
He mentioned disasters such as vehicular accidents, flooding, earthquakes and chemical and technological accidents as some of the leading causes of disability to individuals.
Mr. Aninkora Sie consequently called on the populace, especially those in authority, to show commitment and implement programmes and policies to help better the lives of the disabled in the country.
He bemoaned that ‘most at times authorities are unprepared to meet the needs of the disabled in the case of a disaster and discriminate against them by failing to include the disabled in their emergency preparedness plan.’
The NADMO boss was speaking during the celebration of International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) held at Edwenase Rehabilitation Centre, in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region. It was on the theme, ‘Living with Disability and Disasters.’
Mr. Aninkora Sie said, ‘As we celebrate the day, let’s take the necessary steps to ensure the implementation of the Disability Act 715, 2006 in our development planning activities with regard to disaster risk reduction.’
He stressed that the disabled should be factored in whenever a national building is being constructed adding that workers should be provided with relevant working tools and appropriate facilities at the workplace to reduce the level of occupational hazards.
The NADMO leader said emergency or aid workers should begin to identify the humanitarian needs of the disabled, adding that early warning systems on disasters should be properly designed to reach the various groups of the disabled before they occurred.
‘Simple search or rescue drills should be programmed to meet the disabled during disasters or emergencies. I also urge emergency workers to have critical look at the Disability Act 715 of 2006 and inculcate the provisions into their emergency management plans,’ he said.
The Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Samuel Yaw Adusei, called on the public to collectively work to help reduce occurrence of disasters in their various communities ‘and reduce their effects on people with disabilities.’
He announced that government had instituted the Disability Fund as part of efforts to mitigate the hardships persons with disabilities face, adding the funds were geared towards boosting the financial status and operations of the disabled.
Hon. Adusei implored MMDAs to handle the disability funds with utmost empathy, transparency and involve a wider membership of the various disability groups in the disbursement of the funds.
Nana Ameyaw Kotoko II, Mowirehene, expressed gross concern over the indiscriminate littering at public places in the country, especially Kumasi, which tends to destroy and dirty the environment.
He said people were building houses even on road demarcations, thereby preventing emergency workers from getting access to people who need help in times of disaster, stressing that the right thing ought to be done.
Nana Kotoko II, charged NADMO to embark on disaster prevention programmes for the public so that they could lead their lives in a manner that would prevent them from getting injured.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi
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