Baidoa, September 18, 2015 – Over 35 people with disability were provided mobility impairment in Baidoa on Friday , amid the Somali government on Thursday proposed a National Disability Policy aimed to introduce rights of access and care for the physically disabled people.
According to deputy commissioner for Bay region, the disability items , which were donated Mohamed Abshir, Somali man with disability living in the United States, have been supplied to 40 people with disability, drawn from the town of Baidoa and its surrounding villages.
“These equipments are vital to the people with disability and thank Mohamed Abshir for his courage and generosity ,” Omar Mohamd Hassan deputy commissioner for Bay region said at the handover event held in Baidoa on Friday, “We encourage other well wishing Somalis to support the people with disability.”
“We are providing equipment with people with disability to 40 disability people who lives in Baidoa and these items have been sent by one of the disability people who lives outside Somalia.” Mr. Hassan added.
In the meantime, Somali government on Thursday proposed a bill aimed to introduce rights of access and care for the physically disabled people, according to a statement released by the office of the Prime Minister on Thursday.
“The National Disability Policy will be further debated for the next cabinet meetings” the Statement added.
However, the proposed policy drew immediate criticism from its major stakeholders over lack of consultation with the concerned people.
“Proposing the disability rights bill is good, but it lacks stakeholder consultation.” Mohamed Ali Farah, founder and CEO of the Somali Disability Empowerment Network said “Consultative stakeholder process should be considered, since we are the people which this law to be applied.”
Somali Disability Empowerment Network (SODEN) a non-for-profit organizations that campaigns for the people with disability and its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mohamed Ali Farah who is also is an award winning disability activist recently launched a “Open the Door” campaign in support of the people with disabilities.
“The campaign to promote the people with disability is progressing.” Mohamed Ali Farah, founder and CEO of theSomali Disability Empowerment Network said, :We expect in the near future that every disability person will live in an independent life.”
The disability people face harsh challenges in Somalia, a country with no effective central government over the last two decades making the country one of the worst places in the world that people with special needs can live in.
Nasro Aden in Mogadishu contributed reporting from Mogadishu.