KAMANJAB – The Information and Mobilisation officer for People Living with Disabilities (PLWD), Suzett !Guim praised government for improving the lives of disabled Namibians.
!Guim said the government’s National Policy on Disabilities make Namibians living with disabilities feel government has included them in all spheres of life and this has made their lives much easier.
“Namibia’s policy does not make PLWD feel left out and we are accommodated everywhere, whether it is at schools, health facilities or law enforcement offices,” !Guim who is visually impaired recently said this in an interview with New Era at her house recently.
She says schools for PLWD are there, with interpreters, and that community cousellors were trained in various regions through regional councils working in collaboration with the Disability Affairs’ Division, in the Office of Vice-President.
She said the only exception is the Namibian Police that lack interpreters, adding that this shortage could be off-set if the police could source interpreters from the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.
In Kunene Region, !Guim said most business facilities and government offices accommodated people with disabilities by creating disability-friendly entrances, noting that the police in this region should close this gap. !Guim said unemployment and the lack of land affected PLWD, as they too wanted to be employed and do agricultural projects if resettled on farms. She also called for the creation of a vocational training centre at Khorixas and that a certain percentage of those enrolled should be from the people living with disabilities.
Three youths living with disabilities from Kunene are studying abroard, this she said shows government commitment to ensure no Namibian is left out .
She praised the Kamanjab Village Council for giving land to PLWD.
“Look, I am at my own house. I am a proud owner of this land and want to build flats,” !Guim said.
Last year, UNDP said five percent of the Namibian population lives with some form of disability and continue facing challenges despite the country having made significant progress, to empower people with disabilities and promoting their inclusion throughout society. It further said people with disabilities often have little or no access to information and most are unemployed.