By: Mawusie P.I Dumbuya
Amidst thunderous applaud during the Launching of the Socio-economic Livelihood Project and Accessibility Audit Report on Thursday 9th December at the Youyi Building car Park in Freetown; the President Rtd Brigade Dr Julius Maada Bio has said that disability issues are in his thought and calculation.
Speaking at the post International Day for Persons with Disability (IDPD) organized by the Ministry of Social Welfare in collaboration with the National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPD); president said Persons with disabilities must be respected in society and that his government through the Mid Term Development Plan is highly committed to transform the lives and restore the dignity of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the country.
He revealed that the government has done tremendous work in the disability sector with commitment to fulfill the promises in ensuring disabled a form in national development.
He said persons with disabilities can be positive members in society and contribute to the much-needed change in the human capital development adding that he’s proud of the gains the government has made in the disability sector.
The president said the livelihood Project is geared towards transforming the narrative in the disability sector and to usher in a new era in the sector; “my government will work immensely to improve the lives of people with disabilities and ensure that they become entrepreneurs” he maintained
He said the Accessibility Audit conducted by the National Commission for Persons with Disability is landmark achievement to guarantee a barrier free environment for PWDs; adding that his desire is to see a sierra Leone where disabled will access public buildings without hindrances.
Highlighting the radical inclusion policy, the president said the government will ensure that all public schools are accessible to accommodate PWDs, stressing that no one will be left behind in the development train of his government.
He urged beneficiaries to make judicious use of the Golden opportunity as it will contributed greatly to the decongestion of disabled in the streets and eventually eradicate street begging in the major cities across the country.
Chairman National Commission for Persons with Disabilities James Taiwo Cullen thanked the president for working tirelessly in improving the lives of PWD in the country.
He said the Accessibility Audit Report will help the government to design a road map in ensuring that public buildings are accessible for PWDs
The Chairman pledged his unflinching supports to work with other government agencies in promoting disability issues in the country.
Minister of Social Welfare Madam Baindu Dassama-Kamara said the Socio-economic livelihood project is close to her heart, maintaining that the ministry will continue to work in actualizing the president’s dream for PWDs.
Madam Dassama-Kamara revealed that with support from United Nationsv Country Team on Disability in Sierra Leone the Ministry of Social Welfare was able to secure support to procure tricycles (keke) generators and sewing machines to start the livelihood project.
She called on other partners to support the Commission and her Ministry to further disability issues in the country.