Persons with disability in Asanti Akyem North District lament over delay in disbursement of fund

Persons with disability in the Asanti Akyem North District of the Ashanti Region have accused the local authority of being selective in the disbursement of funds allocated to them in the District Assembly Common Fund. By law, all district, municipal and metropolitan assemblies are required to disburse 3% of the Common Fund to persons with disability within their respective jurisdictions, but that seems to be problematic at Asanti Akyem North District as some concerns have been raised.

Speaking to Adase3 fm, some persons with disabilities lamented the Assembly is not transparent in the disbursement of their share of the Common Fund.

They mentioned some of the challenges as inadequate information on the fund, diversion of the fund, sidelining the representatives of PWDs serving on the DFMCs, misapplication of the funds, misunderstanding of the composition and functions of the DFMCs, political interference and delays in the release of the fund.

"There are still some lapses in the disbursement of the fund which has some transparency and accountability issues even in this region," they stressed.

Background The World Health Organization figures indicate there are over two million disabled persons in Ghana, majority of whom are impoverished and marginalized and facing major life challenges as inaccessible public facilities, education and other social services, The Government passed the Disability bill in June 2006 to give respite to persons with disability, but the implementation of the Act is far from desirable. The Act stipulates giving 3 percent of the Assembly Common Fund to persons with disability, aimed at reducing poverty, particularly among those outside the formal sector. But this objective appears to be far from being achieved as issues of improper management, monitoring, disbursement and documentation of the funds have been the challenge for persons with disability. The guidelines for the disbursement of the funds are also silent on the number of times and amount an individual or organization can access. Compounding the situation, able-bodied persons are allegedly accessing the fund meant for persons with disability.