Rebecca Kajelo, GNA
Bolgatanga, Sept. 15, GNA – TEERE a Non – Governmental Organization (NGO) in partnership with the Ghana Federation of Disability (GFD) has organized a day’s sensitization workshop to educate stakeholders on the guidelines for the disbursement of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) in Bolgatanga.
It was attended by members of the District Fund Management Committee (DFMC), Finance Officers, District Chief Executives (DCEs), the Regional Coordinating Director and members of the Ghana Federation of Disability (GFD).
The President of the Upper East Regional branch of GFD, Mr David Aniah presenting a paper on the guidelines of the disability fund and reporting channels on issues relating to the utilization, disbursement and management of the fund, mentioned that the DACF was aimed at minimizing poverty among all PWDs particularly those outside the formal sector of employment.
He added that it was further to enhance their social image through dignified labour.
Mr Aniah urged District Fund Management Committees (DFMC’S) to monitor and supervise the utilization of the common fund disbursed to People with Disabilities (PWDs).
The GFD president noted that some beneficiaries misused the fund and stressed that the fund was to support the income generating activities of individual PWDs to enable them cater for their needs and those of their families.
He further explained that the objectives of the fund was to support the income generating activities of individual PWDs, to provide educational support for children with disability, students and trainees with disabilities and to build the capacity of Organizations of Persons with Disability (OPWDs) in the districts.
Mr Aniah indicated that a legal provision was made for children with disability to enjoy free education in Ghana and said since the bill was passed, there have not been any legislation Instrument (LI) to back the law for children with disability to access free education as provided. He added that the law could be ratified if the various interest groups and organizations worked together to push for its ratification.
He urged the assemblies to support those who do not get support but have to keep updating their forms regularly and appealed to stakeholders to help strengthen the GFD, by organizing fora and engaging them in sensitization workshops.
He further stated that it was a requirement for every Metropolitan Municipal and District Assembly (MMDA) to form special committees to vet and approve applications received from PWDs and OPWDs, monitor and supervise the utilization of the funds and to present quarterly reports on the management of the Fund to the District Assembly and the District National Council on Persons With Disability (NCPD) representative.
He said the committees per the guidelines are to be made up of four permanent members, “but there is a space for the committee to bring in co – opted members to aid in their work and no MMDA is allowed to appoint any committee or create one”, he added.
Some stakeholders contributing to the discussion noted that data for the PWDs, were mostly not too accurate and said it would be unfair to release such raw data out to organizations for support, and urged the GFD to lend the needed support to PWDs in the preparation of their documents.
The workshop was supported by STAR Ghana with funding from the United Kingdom Aid, the Danish International Development Agency and the European Union.