A research conducted by the Global Action for Women Empowerment (GLOWA), a Ho-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) in five communities each from Akatsi-South, Krachi-East and Kadjebi districts, has revealed that no albino receives support from the Persons With Disability (PWDs) three per cent share of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DACF).
That is because neither the albinos themselves nor the public know that the condition is a disability, the study revealed.
The study further discovered that 80 per cent of PWDs knew nothing about the PWDs fund, while that of persons with intellectual disabilities also had no support from the fund.
Funded by STAR-Ghana, the study sought to establish the effective management, disbursement and utilisation of the three per cent DACF for PWDs and issues of transparency and accountability regarding its disbursement and utilisation.
The Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of GLOWA, Mr Wisdom Vordzorgbe, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ interface meeting at Dambai in the Oti Region recently.
He said the study further sought to ascertain the knowledge and participation of PWDs in local governance processes, especially, the management of the Disability Fund (DF).
Focus on PWDs
Mr Vordzorgbe said GLOWA, in partnership with the Volta Regional Office of the Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled (GSPD), Volta Region Queenmothers Association and with support from STAR-Ghana embarked on an 11-month anti-corruption project dubbed: “PWDs in focus: where is our 3 per cent DACF,” in the three mentioned districts from April 2018 to February 2019.
He appealed to the district assemblies to involve the PWDs, especially the albinos, in the decision-making processes at all levels, since such engagements were vital.
That, he said, would help deepen the country’s local government system, saying participatory democracy occurred when people were involved in the decision-making process.
He said Article 34(d) of the 1992 Constitution enjoined “the state to make democracy a reality at all levels in Ghana and by providing possible opportunities to persons including women and PWDs at the grass roots to participate in decision making at every level in national life and in governance.”
Mr Vordzorgbe, who is also in charge of STAR-Ghana’s anti-corruption sponsored projects, said “popular participation is thus, a hallmark of democracy, participation, transparency and accountability”.
Commitment to decentralisation
He explained that Ghana had adopted and so was committed to decentralisation and that was the surest way to achieve dual benefits of increased participation of citizens in governance, as well as endangering stable and resilient local communities.
The Krachi-East Municipal Co-ordinating Director, Mr Fred Akowuah- Owusu, said the DF was set to help alleviate the plight of PWDs and achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1.
Mr Akowuah-Owusu said they would at all levels safeguard and improve the living conditions of PWDs by releasing the PWDs share of the DACF on time and also make sure that the fund was utilised for the intended purpose.
He said disability issues were important all over the world and, therefore, needed the support and concern of everyone.
Similar programmes were held at the Kadjebi and Akatsi-South districts.