, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 3 – Nominated Member of Parliament David ole Sankok (Jubilee Party) is set to propose the introduction of a new law geared towards making roads more user-friendly to persons living with disabilities.
Sankok told Capital FM News during commemoration of the International Day of Disabled Persons at the Moi Avenue Primary School in Nairobi that the law will ensure all roads have clear pavements to minimize the risk of disabled persons being hit by moving cars.
“We need to have pavements that can be used by people in wheelchairs but more importantly we need to find a way of making sure that our traffic signs are not just based on lights and physical marks; we need to have some form of sound too for people who are visually impaired,” Sankok remarked on Sunday.
He was however quick to note that significant progress has been made in creating an inclusive society where the physically disabled are respected acknowledging the representation of the disabled in legislative bodies – both national and county based.
Sankok also enumerated the access to procurement opportunities by disabled persons, through which the government has provided opportunities for people living with disabilities to secure tenders for supply of goods and services to government agencies.
“Importation of duty-free vehicles, as well as tax exemptions area among things that have empowered the, disable in this country,” he said.
There was however need, Sankok said, to enforce existing regulations including the law requiring buildings to have ramps through which disabled persons can access them.
Starehe Member of Parliament Charles Njagua who also graced the event said through a partnership with the Lotto foundation and Cure International, hundreds of people in need of surgery will undergo treatment at the African Inland Church (AIC) Kijabe Hospital.
“Today we’ve been able to get more than 300 people and the target of the partners was 400 so I think they were able to get what they were looking for,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Lotto foundation, Brian Waluchio, said the organization would continue to work with other partners to create awareness aimed at ending stigma against the physically disabled.
Waluchio noted that stigma remains a challenge despite significant progress having been made towards the eradication of stigma.
“We want to continue providing education to the community in terms of stigmatization of especially the children living with disabilities,” he told Capital FM News.
“We also provide medical assistance with the help of other stakeholders but I can say there’s still much that needs to be done,” he added.
According to a National Special Needs Education Survey (NSNES) released in June 2016, there is a high prevalence (13.5 per cent) of disability among children in the country.
The study which was sanctioned by the Ministry of Education Science and Technology revealed that at least one in every 10 persons under the age of 21 were living with disability.
The study also revealed that 31 per cent of those in the said age bracket – around one in three – had multiple disabilities.
According to the report, a majority of children living with disabilities are out-of-school, the study at the time capping them at 16 per cent.
The report also indicated that public schools are ill-equipped in addressing and meeting the needs of children with disabilities recommending more special education centers and deployment of specialized teachers in existing integrated schools.
While giving his remarks during the launch of NSNES, Principal Secretary in the State Department of Basic Education, Belio Kipsang, called for concerted efforts to address existing inequalities impeding children living with disabilities.
“The NSNES contains recommendations that could improve the situation of children with special needs, thereby helping improve equity in access to education in Kenya,” he noted.
“Ensuring that inclusive education becomes a reality in Kenya will not only uphold the rights of children with special needs, it will also improve the participation of people with special needs in our country’s development,” he implored.
The NSNES report was at the timed based on a sample of 8,400 households across all the 47 counties.