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Call to include Kwale PWDs in preparing development plan



Call to include Kwale PWDs in preparing development plan

A rights group in Kwale County is advocating the inclusion of persons living with disability in the preparation of the next County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP).

The Muslim Women Advancement of Rights and Protection wants the county administration to prioritise the needs of special interest groups as they work on the CIDP, a five-year development plan.

During an engagement forum with 30 PWD representatives in Kinondo, Mwalimu Ali, an official, expressed concern that such groups have often missed out on government benefits because of a lack of awareness.

“We will soon have public participation sessions for the county Finance Bill, and it is crucial to understand their role,” he said.

This follows concerns raised by PWDs about discrimination in the budget planning process, resulting in their exclusion from key benefits. They have been unable to contribute their recommendations to previous CIDP reports.

Areas of concern

Mr Ali said the forum will address issues related to health, education, infrastructure and economy, which directly affect the groups.

“The public participation forum will highlight the areas where PWDs have been overlooked in the past decade and what they want to see in the next development plan,” he said.

Tauhida Salim, the chairperson of the Gazi Disabled Group, said such forums are beneficial as many PWDs have been marginalised for long.

“I didn’t realise that we were allowed to contribute to the county development plans in previous years,” she said, adding that county budgets often prioritised general community needs and neglected those with special needs.

Ms Salim further lamented that inaccessible buildings, lack of braille materials and a shortage of sign language interpreters hinder their participation in public forums.

The 30 PWD representatives will also disseminate the information to other members. The campaign was launched last year to ensure special interest groups, including marginalised communities, are not left out of planning operations.

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