People with disabilities in Mombasa County have appealed to the county government to develop and implement a law for PWDs.
According to the PWDs, this has led to a lack of inclusivity in decision-making processes affecting them.
Speaking to Jumuiya News in Mombasa, former nominated Member of County Assembly Hudson Karume said it is the responsibility of the county to factor in the demands of PWDs by developing and implementing the law.
“As we speak there is no County Disability Law. What was brought to us is the Disability Mainstreaming Policy which rejected as and has since then never seen the light of the day.
He lashed out at the county claiming that it has failed in considering the concerns of people living with a disability.
On the issue of the nomination of a PWD representative at the county assembly, the former MCA said there exists no legal back-up on the mode of nominating a legislator with disability.
“The county does not see the importance of supporting PWD’s. Most of the issues are done on humanitarian grounds,” said Karume.
Meanwhile, James Karanja Mombasa County Disability Leaders Forum treasurer claims access to information to PWDs remains a critical challenge.
He asked PWDs to jointly voice their concerns adding that their agenda requires concerted efforts.
“Let PWDs come out and push for their rights. Unfortunately, most of them live below the poverty line,”
Richard Odera, a PWD representative from Changamwe Sub County, cites poverty as an impediment to PWDs accessing essential services.
He, however, says PWDs like any other Kenyans have a constitutional right to access services in all public utilities.
“There is a perception that PWD’s are a burden which I refute. We have our rights as Kenyans and taxpayers of this country,” said Karanja.
Haki Yetu Organisation land, housing and governance officer John Paul Obonyo asked the county government to streamline the delivery of services to people with disability.
He says the creation of awareness on PWD issues remains a pivotal role in addressing their concerns.
“It is shocking that some civil servants in public health facilities lack commitment. Some of the facilities are still not disability friendly,” said Obonyo.
Paul Kawega, a research analyst says PWDs shall only succeed in addressing their concerns and should speak with one voice.
He notes that even with the limited resources, they can still voice their concerns.
“It is high time that you come together as PWDs. Do not let differences tear you apart. It is only that one platform that you will be able to present your grievances, said Kawega.