Disabled persons demand representation in the management of fund

Members of Volta Regional Disability Network (VODIN) on Monday called for the
establishment of mechanisms at the Metropolitan, Municipal and District
Assemblies to ensure transparent disbursement of the two per cent of District
Assemblies Common Fund reserved for People with Disabilities (PWDs).

call was made at a press conference in Ho as part of Disability Week
celebration, which coincided with the second anniversary of the passage of the
Disability Act 715 of 2006.

It was under the theme, "Empowering people
with disabilities towards building national economy".

They alleged that
groups representing PWDs in the Ho Municipality did not know the value of the
two per cent and how it was disbursed.

They contended that a proposal
made to the assembly to constitute a tripartite committee comprising
representatives of the assembly, Department of Social Welfare and VODIN to deal
with issues concerning the fund was rejected.

The Network said though
provisions were made by the assembly for disabled persons in its composite
budget and Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP) they were not consulted in the
drawing of such plans and budgets.

It said members paid taxes, used
mobile phones and paid for other goods and services as citizens and therefore,
ought to be consulted when decisions concerning them were being made.

Network said support through the disabled fund should not be limited to
education and campaigns but to support productive activities of PWDs and their

Answering questions, Mr Thomas Mawueli Malm, Public Relations
Officer of the Network, said the assembly gave 500 Ghana cedis (Five million
cedis) in 2006 and a cheque for 1,000 Ghana cedis (10 million cedis) in 2007
towards the celebration of the International Day of the Disabled and another
event on request.

He did not explain whether the assistance from the
assembly were from the two per cent.

Mr Mawutor Goh, Ho Municipal Chief
Executive, in a reaction to the concerns, told Ghana News Agency that no
proposal for a tripartite committee on the disability fund was submitted to the

He said the assembly was sponsoring some deaf and dumb students
at Mampong-Akwapim School for the Deaf and others engaged in productive

Mr Goh explained that programmes, which satisfied guidelines
for disbursement from the fund, could be supported.

He noted that each of
the several splinter groups of People With Disabilities (PWDs) in the
municipality tended to create the impression that access to the fund was

Mr Goh said the assembly was yet to receive the first quarter
of its share of the Common Fund this year, and there were plans to meet the
leadership of PWDs to discuss issues concerning the fund.