Makutano Stadium, West Pokot County: The echoes of unity and progress resonated through the Makutano Stadium in West Pokot as the County Government, in partnership with the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) and other stakeholders, hosted the grand celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). This year’s theme, “United in action to rescue and achieve the SDGs for, with and by persons with disabilities,” served as a powerful rallying cry, demanding attention to the ongoing struggle for disability inclusion within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Momentum for Change:
Hon. Florence Bore, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. In her impactful address, she reaffirmed the Government’s unwavering commitment to inclusivity. Recognizing the need for progress, she announced the ongoing review of the Persons with Disabilities Act 2003, vowing to align it with the current Constitution and address contemporary realities. Additionally, she hailed the recent digitization feat – the onboarding of disability registration services on eCitizen. This landmark move empowers persons with disabilities to register remotely and obtain their certificates seamlessly through their mobile devices, marking a significant stride towards ease of service delivery. Hon. Bore further urged the NCPWD to prioritize extensive public awareness campaigns to ensure everyone benefits from this innovative platform.
The celebratory atmosphere pulsed with activity, spearheaded by Governor H.E Hon. Simon Kachapin CBS, EBS. Key highlights included:
Partnership Forged: A formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the NCPWD and the Huduma Kenya Secretariat (HKS). This crucial partnership promises to extend essential disability services directly to individuals through the nationwide network of 52 Huduma centers, bridging the accessibility gap and bringing critical support closer to those who need it most. The MoU was signed by NCPWD Executive Director Harun Hassan and HKS Acting CEO Mugambi Njeru.
Empowering Mobility: Recognizing the importance of independence and mobility, the Council, in collaboration with Hope Mobility Kenya, distributed mobility devices to individuals with disabilities. This act of generosity promises to unlock new possibilities for recipients, enabling them to navigate their daily lives with greater autonomy and dignity.
Growing Together: In a symbolic gesture of environmental consciousness and a testament to the role of persons with disabilities in climate action, 1,300 trees were planted across three special schools in compliance with the Presidential Directive on the National Tree Growing Restoration Campaign.
Strengthening the Network:
Adding to the event’s significance was the presence of the NCPWD Board, led by Chairperson Elizabeth Chesang. Development partners and key organizations representing and advocating for persons with disabilities further enriched the dialogue and reaffirmed their commitment to building a truly inclusive society.
The vibrant celebration in West Pokot was more than just a festivity; it was a potent reminder of the ongoing journey towards disability inclusion. It showcased concrete steps being taken – legislative reviews, digital innovations, collaborative partnerships, and tangible acts of empowerment – all serving as beacons of hope in the pursuit of a future where opportunities and autonomy are truly accessible to all, regardless of ability. The echoes of “United in action” resonated far beyond the Makutano Stadium, urging collective action and renewed commitment to ensure that individuals with disabilities not only participate in, but contribute significantly to the achievement of the SDGs and forge a future where no one is left behind.