WINDHOEK - Persons living with disabilities in the Erongo Region are not adequately represented on organisations that decide in issues affecting their future. This is according to persons living with disabilities who handed a petition to Walvis Bay Mayor Derek Klazen, asking for the matter to be rectified.
According to Elsa Murangi of the Walvis Bay Child and Family Centre (WBCFC), who deals with the rehabilitation of disabled people at Walvis Bay, the lack of monitoring and evaluation of programmes implemented for disabled persons is one of the areas that need attention.
Murangi further said access to education for peoples with disabilities must also receive special attention, as this is not sufficiently done, resulting in people with disabilities being denied the right education.
“We strongly urged that representation, including self-representation of people with disabilities, be promoted at all levels,” Murangi said.
Deputy Mayor of Walvis Bay, Benson Uakumbua, said the wellbeing of disabled people depends largely on the strength of protection provided by their immediate families and organisations such as the WBCFC.
He added that although government finds it hard to sustain programmes that are intended to help the vulnerable, and is sometimes forced to privatize them, it does not mean government should not fulfil its responsibilities.
“What I would like to encourage is that all of us provide solutions to ensure Namibia becomes a healthier nation on all fronts,” he said.
Uakumbua said providing adequate access to education facilities to disabled person should also not only rest on the government but should be a collective effort, with private sector involvement.
“Almost everybody in Walvis Bay knows that the Walvis Bay Child and Family Centre, incorporating the Sunshine Centre, have been fulfilling that role with honour for many years now. The centre has been doing this despite difficult conditions most of the time. For them to continuously succeed in their mission, they need support in many different ways, but mostly financial support” he added.
Uakumbua urged all stakeholders to create smart partnerships to build healthier and more competitive local communities that would see disabled persons crafting their own destinies too.