World PLWD Congress: Kenya to be first African country to play host

Organizers of the Congress led by Ibrahim Khamis at Mombasa governor Hassan Joho's office. /ERNEST CORNEL
Organizers of the Congress led by Ibrahim Khamis at Mombasa governor Hassan Joho's office. /ERNEST CORNEL

World congress for People Living With Disability will be held in Kenya in July this year.

It will be the first ever conference for persons living with disability to be held in Africa.

The last conference of the kind was held in Russia in 2017 and

attended by 720 guests from 30 countries.

Mombasa won the hosting rights for the three-day event which begins on July 24.

The county on Sunday said 500 participants from at least 25 countries will take part.

Organizers said they aim to reduce over-dependence among the disabled.

Kenya's 15 per cent population is made up of persons living with disability.

Some are strewn on the streets begging.

“The theme will be 'from needy to leading',” organizer Ibrahim Khamis said.

Mombasa largely lacks PLWD-friendly infrastructures, he added.

Most buildings have disadvantaged this group.

“The congress want to achieve these friendly infrastructures. We will see our weakness and improve on them,” Khamis said.

White Cane President Oleg Kolpachikor who led the Russia event said it changed the mindset about PLWD.

“People started to speak their new roles; that they need to be active,” he said.

Kolpachikor said PLWD should be given leadership roles.

“There is nothing for the whole society without us,” he said

Khamis said most community are not accommodating to the disabled.

He said only Barcelona, a

cosmopolitan capital of Catalonia region in Spain, is the only city that

has achieved reputable standards to make PLWD live comfortably.

Mombasa Tourism chief officer Innocent Mugabe said they have fitted cabros on walkways to ease their movements.

Finance executive Mariam Mbarak said they are packaging Mombasa as a conference destination.

The county is renowned for its tourist destinations.

Mombasa last October hosted the 79th edition of the Skal International Congress.