KEETMANSHOOP, 18 MAY (NAMPA) - The regional coordinator of the Southern Association of the Visually Impaired (SAVI), Monika Nangolo on Friday raised a concern about the abuse of grants for people living with disabilities by their family members here.
Nangolo told Nampa on the sidelines of a meeting she convened with some visually-impaired residents here that most of them still complain of their grants being misused by their family members and caretakers.
Nangolo replaced Moses Kudumo Matheus in February this year as SAVI coordinator for both the Karas and Hardap regions.
The coordinator said she is only aware of 40 people with different disabilities in Keetmanshoop, of which the majority receive the monthly grant of N.dollars 600 from Government.
?I still have to establish how many do not receive the grant and make the necessary arrangements for them to start getting the money,? said Nangolo, adding that she will soon go outside Keetmanshoop to the villages and farms to identify people with disabilities and see how they can be helped.
Currently, the number of beneficiaries of the disability grant countrywide stands at 27 312 beneficiaries.
Control Rehabilitation Officer in the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) here, Richard Muchila, who also spoke at the meeting, warned people to stop abusing the money of people living with disabilities.
?Family members should stop using the money for their own benefits while the rightful owner of such funds suffers without the basic necessities,? Muchila stressed.
He said ignorance and fear that if one gets close to a person with disability one might acquire such disability, must be avoided because it is just a myth.
?We must appreciate and love one another regardless of our mental and physical conditions,? he advised.
The meeting was held to create awareness about visually-impaired people, and to remind such people of their rights and how they can access employment and education.
They were also encouraged to participate in any activity undertaken by able-bodied people.
Only 10 visually-impaired people attended the meeting, and they were also informed about national and international commemoration days for them, such as the White Cane Safety Day on 15 October each year.