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We Will Soon Clear Beggars From Our Streets and Work To Empower Them – Thika West DCC.

Thika West Deputy County commissioner Tom Anjere has set a 2-week ultimatum to crackdown on all street beggars in the district.

Speaking in Thika while overseeing the delivery of assorted donations to beneficiaries of the National Fund For The Disabled of Kenya (NFDK), Anjere said there was need for a paradigm shift from the way affairs were conducted, especially when it came to how the disabled were assisted.

“As a district, we are going to work with the political leadership in the area and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) to run a crash programme to ensure that we get rid of all the disabled persons from the streets. We are not just going to remove them from the streets, but we are also going to empower them so that they can do something meaningful for themselves. That is something that we are very very committed in doing,” said Anjere.

He assured the residents that within the next two weeks, the streets of Thika will be free from the beggars. He said that they intended to start a campaign to discourage people from going out begging for alms.

He said that for this to succeed, he was going to involve all the stakeholders, especially the leaders and KAM, who will supplement what the government and NFDK are doing.

His office was in the process of creating a forum where all stakeholders in the district could compare notes and identify those who had already benefitted from any of these programmes. To achieve this, his office was planning to carry out a census of the number of disabled persons within the district so as avoid duplication of allocation. This will ensure that once one benefitted from any of these aids, they gave way to others.

Anthony Muli from NFDK said that the exercise, which benefitted 40 people drawn from Thika, Gatuanyaga and environs, costed the government Ksh. 857,000. The donations included assorted items such as sewing machines, carpentry, salon and barbershop equipment, wheelchairs, and so forth.

All the 40 beneficiaries were in praise of the programme saying that it had empowered them by ‘giving them the feet to walk’.

“Am very thankful to the government for this equipment. It will enable me to start my own kinyozi business which will earn me and my family my daily bread. Before I have been struggling to make ends meet. Since I have a background in shaving people’s hair, this donation is a big boost to me,” said one beneficiary who did not want to be mentioned by name.

Catherine Waithera from Maraba in Witeithie Location, was all smiles. She advised those begging in the streets to seek other alternatives such as the one they were benefiting from so as to discount the notion that disability is inability.

“Begging degrades us. It makes people to look down on us and in contempt. So, please look for something you can do,” she said.

To benefit from the programme, one can acquire the official of application for assistance forms from any Provincial Administration or Department of Social Services offices in the Republic of Kenya or download these forms online from the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya’s website.

Donations to Individuals usually provides them with physical equipment and not cash grants/loans.
The main thrust of this project is to provide empowerment to persons with disabilities by providing them with a vehicle with which to realise their economic potential and thus fostering self-reliance as opposed to a culture of depending on other members of society for basic livelihood. The project also encourages sustainable growth of enterprises started for individuals, so that one does not feel limited to a certain ceiling in terms of self-actualisation.

In their Rehabilitative empowerment programme, beneficiaries are provided with various rehabilitative aids and appliances that help to alleviate the special circumstances that persons with disabilities find themselves faced with and therefore unable to fit into society and compete on an equal footing with other members of society. Once provided with these, an individual will be able to integrate and adopt better to society and its every-day rigours that do not favour anybody on account of disability or any other disadvantage.

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