Mr Alex Korsi Asor Akpo, Volta Regional President of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has advocated for Ministerial accent to the guidelines of the new Disability Common Fund (DCF) to ensure compliance with the reviewed provisions.
He said the reviewed provisions were meant to block loopholes, strengthen the position of the beneficiaries, eliminate all seen and foreseeable obstacles from the managers of the fund and the assembly management.
It is also to widen the scope of benefits to the utter interest and development of the person with disability, as a Social Protection Strategy with ultimate interest to alleviate poverty.
Mr Akpo, who doubles as Chairman of the Ho Municipal Assembly Disability Fund Management Committee facilitated the training for some 20 women with disabilities at Dzolo, in the Ho West District of the Volta Region to educate them on how to easily access the Disability Common Fund at the local level.
The project, being undertaking by the Women with Disability Development and Advocacy Organisation (WODAO), a disability friendly, advocacy and empowerment not-for-profit group, would enable the beneficiaries to be assertive to self-advocate for themselves and participate in local decision-making processes.
With a support fund of GH¢100,000 from the Ghana Somubi Dwumadie, (Ghana Participation Programme) as part of its Sustainability and Legacy Grants Project, it is to assist WODAO to implement a one-year capacity strengthening project for the women in the Ho Municipal and the Ho West District.
Mr Akpo enumerated issues arising from the old system to include suspicion between PWDs, Assemblies and fund management committees, abuse of supervisory roles of Assembly management, superimposition of decisions by some Social Welfare Officers.
Others were political interference by party members, excessive mistrust, and speculation of lies by some PWDs. unfaithfulness on the part of some PWDs, misuse and misapplication of funds, Governmental interfering directives conflicting with the purpose and intent of the fund.
Mrs Veronica Denyo Kofiedu, Executive Director of WODAO reiterated the need for the government to pass a legislation to back the smooth implementation of the 3% District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) package by signing it into law.
She noted that the new guidelines for the management and disbursement of the fund was still waiting ministerial approval, “so, we want the Minister of Gender and Social Protection to expedite actions on it for us to facilitate the smooth implementation of the fund.”
She said the objective of the DACF for persons with disabilities was to support them with income-generating activities and provide educational support including vocational and apprenticeship training.
“It is also to support persons with disabilities to have access to technical aids and other assistive devices and equipment,” Madam Kofiedu added.
Participants were oriented on their rights and responsibilities and how to access the disability fund towards navigating themselves from poverty and gaining self-worth.
Ghana Somubi Dwumadie is a four-year disability programme being run in the country with specific focus on mental health is receiving funding support from the UKAid under the partnership of ‘Options’ led consortium, consisting of Basic Needs Ghana, Kings College London, Sight Savers International and Tropical Health.
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