Disability fund increased to Sh300 million, special schools needed

Kristina Pratt, National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya chair, has a word with seven-year-old Lucy Njoki when she presented her with a wheelchair in Naivasha, January 15, 2018. /George Murage
Kristina Pratt, National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya chair, has a word with seven-year-old Lucy Njoki when she presented her with a wheelchair in Naivasha, January 15, 2018. /George Murage

Persons living with disabilities have a reason to smile as the government has agreed to increase the annual allocation to the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya.

NFDK's annual budget will be increased from Sh200 million to Sh300 million, the board’s chairperson Kristina Pratt said on Monday.

She said the government is committed to reducing the suffering persons living with disabilities undergo by providing kits.

Pratt said that over the years, the fund’s budget has been increasing, a factor she attributed to the growing number of Kenyans with disabilities.

"We will complement the funds with some monies from partner institutions in order to meet the needs of the large number of people living with disabilities."

"Some of the kits we are distributing are costly and were sourced from well-wishers within and outside

the country," she said, adding the equipment will be given to beneficiaries who applied.

Pratt spoke to journalists after leading her board in distributing the kits and tools of trade to 17 beneficiaries at IEBC hall in Naivasha.

She also visited Naivasha sub-county hospital where she donated a wheelchair to Enock Romano whose legs were amputated after being attacked by a hippo in Lake Naivasha.

Pratt expressed concern over lack of a special schools in Naivasha saying it has left many without getting basic education in disability-friendly facilities.

"Naivasha has close to 400,000 persons living with disabilities and I would like those concerned to apply to the board so that they can be given grants to start a special school here."

Her sentiments were echoed by professor Julia Ojiambo, a member of the board, who called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders to help those with disabilities.

"We all know Naivasha is prone to accidents and many are left with disabilities. When we come together we can offer some help so they can continue with their lives normally," she said.

Naivasha deputy county commissioner Isaac Masinde said only four schools in the area had disability units.

"We are looking forward to working with the fund to special schools. Those who did not get the disability equipment should be patient."