Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, EGH, has decried inaccessibility challenges that Persons living with disabilities (PwD) experience when visiting government offices.
He was speaking on Thursday morning during a media breakfast with persons abled differently who have been hired by the County Government of Uasin Gishu over the last six years in different departments.
“ I empathise with People with different abilities because I am forced to attend to them in the hall or somewhere else outside my offices simply because they can not access my offices upstairs; especially those with wheelchairs. This is discriminative.” Mandago said.
In this regard, the Governor said that he has instructed the department of Public Works to install Pwd friendly access ways and elevators in the county headquarters to ensure people using wheelchairs can get access to all offices.
The governor also said that plans are underway to construct a state of the art PwD assessment centre in Chebolool, Ainabkoi Sub-County where a group of elders donated six acres of land for construction of this facility.The government intends to buy another 14 acres where an ECDE, primary and secondary school will be constructed specially for the PwD adjacent to the centre.
Speaking during the meeting, Uasin Gishu County Public Service Board chair Joseph Tanui lauded the PwD staff for their hard work and exemplary service. His counterpart commissioner Joywin Sang said that in hiring such good numbers of Pwd, the Administration is sending a strong message of empowerment and encouragement to persons with different abilities.
Titus Yego the regional officer representing National Council for People with Disabilities (NCPwD) said that his organisation is impressed with Mandago’s administration in complying with the law on giving opportunities to Pwds.
“We want to build a modern and comprehensive assessment centre because one of the challenges that PwDs experience is suitable assistive devices because they lacked accurate assessment” the county boss said.
Responding to a request for equipping the PwD workshop at Uasin Gishu District Hospital, Mandago said that he has instructed department of Health to carry out a proper assessment and present to him a report on all the required tools and infrastructure necessary for the workshop.
Mandago’s administration is well on course in achieving the five percent constitutional requirement for employing Persons Living with disabilities as well as in awarding tenders. So far the county has hired 34 Pwds while another 28 are scheduled to be hired this year.
As a best practice, the tender for cleaning all county government offices was awarded to Uasin Gishu Society. Last year, the department of Roads and Public works awarded Kshs 14 Million worth of tenders to persons living with disabilities; being 13% more than twice the threshold set in the constitution.
Also present during the meeting was County Human Resource Director Irene Kapting’ei.