08 Aug 2019 10:00am
WINDHOEK, 08 AUG (NAMPA) The Directorate of Disability Affairs in the Office of the Vice President registered 1 341 persons with disabilities in their database during the 2017/18 financial year.
Of this figure, 1 193 were referred to various entities for different services, of which 750 managed to access the different services due to the directorate's recommendation, as part of its quest to achieve key strategic objectives for persons living with disabilities, such as their participation and acceleration of their socio-economic integration.
This information is contained in the 2017/18 annual report of the Presidency which was recently submitted to the National Assembly.
The directorate also held meetings with various government offices, ministries and agencies (OMAs) on the issue of physical inaccessibility, funding for students with disabilities at tertiary institutions and the introduction of short courses for sign language interpretation, the report indicated.
Awareness-raising activities were further carried out in thirteen regions and a consultant was hired for the project on the baseline registration, development of mainstreaming plan and etiquette booklet.
The department received 22 wheelchairs from Smallengerland Municipality in Netherlands. The donation, in assisting people with disabilities, will go a long way to their mobility and regain their dignity, it reads.
The report highlighted that Namibia, through that division, received an ambassadorial award from the African Disability Alliance for its significant progress and commitment to mainstream disabilities in policies, programmes and budgets, amongst others.
Its sister directorate, the Division Marginalised Communities, which is charged with the integration of marginalised communities such as the San, Ovatue, and Ovatjimba into the socio-economic mainstream, also reported successes of its own.
These include the provision of financial assistance to students from these communities at tertiary and secondary school levels, and an assessment on the living conditions of the Riemvasmakers, which resulted in the establishment of a brick project, to address unemployment.
The report indicated that nine corrugated iron houses were constructed for Namapan and Onderayahorua San communities, while the Otjomuro village in the Kunene Region was electrified and also received a hostel and a clinic.
Despite the milestones, the division for marginalised is severely handicapped by among other things, an insufficient budgetary provision and poor attendance at schools by the learners they represent, the report adds.