In Kenya about 4.6% of the population has some form of disability. Unlike poverty which has major differences in urban and rural areas, disability has no major differences in prevalence in the rural or urban areas or by sex but prevalence increase with age.
The Kenya National Survey for People with Disabilities (KNSPWD) adopted the following as the working definition of disability: “a physical, mental, emotional or any other health condition or limitation that has lasted or is expected to last six or more months and which limits or prevents one from participating in the activities of daily life e.g. work, mobility, schooling, recreation and participating in community activities”.
Persons With Disabilities (PWD) in Kenya live in vicious cycle of poverty due to stigmatization, limited education opportunities, inadequate access to economic opportunities and access to the labour market.
The PWD Act No.14 of 2003 aims to ensure that the PWDs issues and concerns are mainstreamed.
ADDRESSING THE ISSUES OF PWDs THOUGH THE VISION 2030
After the 2007 Post election Violence, the Government in the one year recovery aimed to address special needs of the PWDs by facilitating the provision of emergency aid and supplies to the PWDs in camps and host communities and also establishing committees at various levels, with PWDs representation to oversee the implementation of emergency relief operation and facilitate protection of the displaced;
There are two flagship projects in the Vision 2030 and its first MTP to address issues and concerns of PWDs namely;
- Implementation of the Disability Fund - This fund will be inclusive of appropriate budgetary allocations to provide financial assistance to PWDs for their socio-economic empowerment; and
- Representationof PWDs in decision making processes at all levels - This will ensure that issues that directly affect the PWDs are adequately addressed in policies and legal frameworks, programmes and projects
The 2009/2010 Performance Contract guidelines required that all Public Institutions implement the Government Policy on Affirmative Action for People with Disabilities;
The 2009/10 Performance Contract key target for the Ministry of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 was the establishment of a Disability Mainstreaming Committee (DMC): The other targets were:
- Awareness creation on disability issues for ministry staff both at headquarters’ and district; and
- Making quarterly reports on progress made in mainstreaming disability issues and concerns to the National Council for People with Disabilities in Kenya (NCPWDK).
Social Services and Governance Division (SS&GD) in the Sectoral Planning Directorate (SPD) was mandated to be monitoring and reporting on these targets in the Ministry. The Division had made the following achievements by mid 2009/10 Financial Year:
- Establishment of Disability Mainstreaming Committee (DMC) with representatives from all the Directorates/Departments /Units within the Ministry;
- Development of DMC Terms of Reference (TORs);
- Development of the DMC 2009/10 annual work plan and sharing with the PS;
- Preparation of first quarter report to National Council for People With Disabilities (NCPWD) and submitting through the PS;
- The sensitization/training for the Directors and HODs conducted on Tuesday 17th November 2009 during the HODs monthly meeting. This was meant to ensure that the HODs were made aware of the disability issues and concerns and hence facilitate and support the mainstreaming process;
- Sensitization/training workshop for DMC members and a few selected headquarters’ staff to enhance their capacity to identify disability issues in policy and planning documents and also to come up with a disability mainstreaming strategy(A workshop Report is in place);
- Preparation of second quarter report to National Council for People With Disabilities (NCPWD) and submitting through the PS
Officers being sensitized of disability issues and concerns at Kenya College of Insurance South ‘C’, Nairobi
Sharing Experience during the Disability Mainstreaming sensitization workshop: Mumbi Ngugi who is a Lawyer by profession from University of Nairobi and London School of Law is an albino
Sharing Experience during the Disability Mainstreaming sensitization workshop: Loise Mueni is visually impaired She was not born blind but became blind after some growths started developing in her eyes retina. She comes from a family with three siblings who are blind.
Sharing Experience during the Disability Mainstreaming sensitization workshop: Haroun Hassan is a District Officer at Kasarani, Nairobi. He was not born disabled but became disabled when he was involved in a fatal road accident in 2007 where he got a spinal injury.
The DMC has been trying to incorporate the PWDs in this committee but this has proven to be very hard. The appeal is to request those people who have any form of disability to voluntarily join the committee.
The DMC in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders will develop a Disability Mainstreaming Strategy during 2009/10 FY. The appeal is to those with any form of disability to come out and share their views during this exercise. The DMC will also undertake the exercise of identifying the disability issues in the policy, planning and budgeting documents including the Vision 2030 and its first MTP and make the relevant policy briefs to address the issues.