Monday, December 10, 2012

PM Odinga urges State to increase disability funds

Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Photo/ FILE

Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Photo/FILE 

By JEREMIAH KIPLANG’AT jkiplangat@ke.nationmedia.com

Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Monday said funds allocated to persons with disability be doubled in the next fiscal year.

Mr Odinga said that the needs of the disabled persons had increased significantly, hence, the need to increase it.

“We must commit to double the funding to disability related programs under the National Council for Persons with Disabilities from the current Sh767million to over Sh1.5billion per year,” Mr Odinga said.

The PM added that the increment should be enforced for the next five years in order to ensure that the funds reached the disabled people in the grassroots.

At the same time, Mr Odinga called for the establishment of a forum based at the counties that will help the devolved governments handle issues raised by the disabled.

“We must commit to develop devolved service delivery structures both at national and county government levels through the creation of County Persons With Disabilities Councils,” he said at the Roundtable for Persons with Disabilities held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.

The Council for Persons with Disabilities was recently embroiled in controversy after its officials were accused of embezzling funds.

The PM ordered for investigation into the allegation after suspending the Council’s board in August.

Mr Odinga said the investigation was over and report would be released to the public soon.

He promised to dismiss officials who will be implicated in the saga that dampened the council tasked with looking into the special needs of the disabled persons.

“We will take action against all those who will be found guilty of misusing your funds,” the PM told the members attending the roundtable.

Ministry of Planning Permanent Secretary Edward Sambili asked for the close involvement of the disabled in all the activities at the county level and also in the implementation of the Constitution.

The council is a semi-autonomous government agency set up to promote the rights of Persons with Disabilities in the country and mainstream disability matters to form part of the national development.

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