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February 20, 2019

Don’t sell tools of your trade, the deaf warned

Deaf Empowerment Society of Kenya CEO Jacob Ireri at Prestige Hotel on Friday /REUBEN GITHINJI
Deaf Empowerment Society of Kenya CEO Jacob Ireri at Prestige Hotel on Friday /REUBEN GITHINJI

People with hearing impairment in Embu have been warned against selling the tools they have been given to start businesses.

They include salon equipment, farming tools and vehicle repair items. Anybody found to have sold these items will not be assisted in future, beneficiaries were cautioned.

Deaf Empowerment Society of Kenya chief executive Jacob Ireri on Friday said they will monitor beneficiaries of these items.

He spoke at Prestige Hotel in Embu town after the society distributed tools worth Sh3 million to 150 people with hearing impairment.

They were provided by well-wishers, the government, USAid and the United Nations

 Development Programme.

Ireri said the group has been trained in entrepreneurship to enable them be self-reliant.

He said  they are discriminated against in tender awards and employment by public and 

private institutions.

Ireri said there are educated, skilled and talented people with hearing impairment, but they are not considered for tenders.

He said the county has about 3,000 deaf people and only about one per cent have been employed. The rest have been left to languish in poverty in their homes.

Ireri said most of the institutions that give out tenders think the deaf are not suitable owing to communication barriers.

He offered to provide interpreters to the institutions to facilitate smooth communication.

Last month, Ireri said communication difficulties should not be used as a reason to deny tenders to deaf persons. 

He said some lacked funds and thus they could not even pay for the nonrefundable fees asked for during the tendering process.

“The county government and other public institutions should know that disability is not inability. The deaf have the capacity to provide any service needed and thus they should be given an opportunity to serve the people,” Ireri said.

Ireri asked the national and the county government to assist the deaf with finances to enable them be self-reliant and be able 

to seek tenders.

Ireri said the society was working with various donors to provide the deaf with tools to start business.

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