The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) State2State project and relevant stakeholders have synergised in ensuring that the persons with disabilities act is domesticated in Ebonyi.
Domesticating the act formed the bulk of discussion during a one-day symposium the project organised in Abakaliki.
Ejiro Okotie, the Gender and Social Inclusion Specialist for USAID State Accountability, Transparency and Effectiveness Activity, said the symposium was apt in ensuring that the intended objective was realised.
Okotie said the symposium was part of activities marking the international day of persons with disabilities with the theme: “Transformative solutions for inclusive development”.
“Actualizing the goal of domesticating the persons with disabilities act in Ebonyi lies with every stakeholder.
“These stakeholders include: relevant governmental authorities, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), persons with disabilities themselves, traditional rulers among others.
“USAID State2State project is more of a catalyst which creates a forum such as this symposium, to bring relevant stakeholders together for deliberations.
“These stakeholders would deliberate on practical solutions to issues hindering the domestication of the act in the state among other issues concerning persons with disabilities.
She noted that practical steps to ensure the act’s domestication would be evolved at the end of symposium, noting that the project was committed towards enhancing the well-being of vulnerable persons in the society.
“We ensure that sub- national governments are accountable, transparent and effective in delivering services to their citizens.
“We collaborate, support states and other partners such as CSOs, to build their capacities in placing the needs of persons with disabilities at the front burner.
Mr Parkins Uzor, a Panel Discussant at the symposium noted that domestication of the act would ensure adequate inclusion of persons with disabilities in education, governance, employment and general scheme of things.
Uzor, the President of Disabled Persons Empowerment Foundation canvassed for the establishment of a ministry for persons with disabilities.
“The issue of lack of funding for associations of persons with disabilities should be drastically addressed to enhance their well-being.
“The government should also give associations of persons with disabilities, free hand to operate and deal with them directly instead of appointees who are not physically challenged in any form.
Mrs Nkechinyere Uguru, another panel discussant at the symposium canvassed for inclusiveness of the rural dwellers in education and other segments of life.
“My organisation, “Catch Em Young initiative’ works with persons with disabilities, community leaders among others to create the desired inclusiveness and develop communities.
Mr Jack Ekwe, a Participant at the symposium thanked the USAID State2State for organizing the event, noting that persons with disabilities in the state would benefit from the domestication of act.
USAID State2State, stakeholders synergise on domesticating PWD act in Ebonyi