Bosomtwe: PWDs economically empowered

Some physically challenged persons in the Bosomtwe District of the Ashanti Region have received support from the local assembly to expand and establish small businesses. The Assembly has used the 3% of its Common Fund allocated to the physically challenged to purchase start-up items for beneficiaries to go into economically viable venture. The items include refrigerators, sewing machines, food stuff for provision stores, farm inputs, baking machines, hairdressing kits, and capital for expansion of businesses. The beneficiaries, mostly unemployed, are hopeful the assistance will make them economically independent. “The items given to me will empower me economically and enable me take care of my family. I believe I can now earn a good living,” a beneficiary, Ruth Akua Agure, stated. A blind farmer, Francis Asiedu Boafo, who also took delivery of farm inputs, said the items will enable him expand his farming business. “Most of my cocoa pods spoilt last year because I couldn’t get insecticides to spray my farm. Now that I have been given farm inputs including some insecticides, I’m confident of increasing my yields this farming season.” Some beneficiaries were also given a cheque for educational and medical support. Most persons with disability end up on the streets to beg for alms due to neglect and isolation by society. These groups of persons are also denied formal employment by some institutions because of their condition. The allocation of two percent of the District Assembly Common Fund was to support persons with disabilities to be economically independent. The allocation has recently been increased to three percent with new guidelines for distribution of the funds. Chairman of the Ghana Federation of Disability in the District Maxwell Boakye commended the government for increasing their share of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund from two to three percent. He said the increment and the new guideline for distribution of the Fund will empower them economically. District Chief Executive for Bosomtwe Joseph Asuming said the purchase of the items was in consultation with the beneficiaries. He warned that beneficiaries who do not use the items given them for intended purposes will be blacklisted. “I will advise the beneficiaries to take the items presented to them as capital to generate income for themselves and their families. “We have set up a team to monitor the beneficiaries every three months to ensure they use the items for intended purposes. Anybody who deliberately mismanages the items will be blacklisted.” In all, 98 persons living with disability including 29 students benefitted from the GH¢105,000 fund.

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By Ibrahim Abubakar||Ghana ]]>