General News of Friday, 16 March 2018
Source: Fred Quame Asare
5 District and Municipal Assemblies in the Volta Region have heightened the inclusion of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in decision making and community development.
This was as a result of a Disability Inclusion Project aimed at strengthening PWDs inclusion in local level development, being implemented by Voice Ghana, a disability rights, advocacy and capacity building organization.
The beneficiary districts, Akatsi North, Central Tongu, Nkwanta North and the Krachi East and Nkwanta South Municipal Assemblies are integrating issues of disability into their medium term development plan and had also adapt measures to encourage active participation of PWDs in decision-making.
This was disclosed by Mr. Francis Asong, the Executive Director of Voice Ghana at a presser in the Volta Regional capital, Ho.
He said Voice Ghana had supported fifteen disability Self-help Groups to select two influential community members each as their respective Inclusion Ambassadors “to work voluntarily as liaisons to, among others, communicate issues concerning persons with disabilities at the grassroots to their respective District Assemblies for redress.”
Mr Ashong highly commended the five beneficiary assemblies for exhibiting positive attitude towards the project by supporting the Inclusion Ambassadors in ensuring issues affecting PWDs are given the necessary attention.
The Programs Manager of Voice Ghana, Charles Nyante, indicated that traditional authorities and assembly members having accepted to be Inclusion Ambassadors is a good omen for the project since positive results are already pouring in.
“We see this positive changes as a shining example and a sustainable intervention, which we are extoling to others to emulate, Mr. Nyante added.
He praised the five beneficiary assemblies for the interest shown in the project, and their readiness to support the inclusion ambassadors in ensuring issues affecting PWDs are given the necessary attention at their various Assemblies.
He said “we see this positive changes as a shining example and a sustainable intervention, which we are extoling to others to emulate.”
He further noted that the project would also facilitate the formation of Disability Caucus in the five target district and municipal assemblies to promote the interest of PWDs at assembly meetings as well as local policy decision making processes.
The Chairman of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations in Nkwanta North District, Mr. John Nanka, scored the District Assembly 80% in handling issues relating to PWDs.
He explained the assembly now identifies the need to make public facilities accessible to persons with disabilities and has also incorporated development priorities collated from persons with disabilities into the Assembly’s 2018-2021 Medium Term Development Plan.
The PWDs Inclusion Project is being facilitated by STAR-Ghana with funding from UKaid, DANIDA and EUROPEAN UNION.
The Volta Regional Council of the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) is also key partner of the project.