• July 10th, 2020

Disability council hamstrung by lack of funds

The National Disability Council of Namibia says it is severely underfunded to the extent that it can only afford a workforce of 11 workers.
The council’s structure makes provision for 39 employees. Acting director of the council Meliharius Haukambe said they were allocated a mere N$4 million during the last financial year.  

“The message is simple, loud and clear, the council is financially starved and severely understaffed,” he reiterated. 
“We still don’t know how much has been allocated to us for this financial year.” “That number (11 workers) is not enough to implement an act of parliament, the workforce is not sufficient.” 
Despite the poor funding, Haukambe said the council is doing everything possible to ensure that it implements its multifaceted mandate by doing more with less. 

The council’s key function is among others to monitor the implementation of the National Policy on Disability, including the identification of provisions in any law, which may hinder the implementation of such a policy. 
Other functions include advising any persons responsible for the task force of existing legislation, which provides for equal opportunities for all people in the country and commenting on proposed legislation, which may affect people living with disabilities in any manners.
“Important functions also include consulting with persons living with disabilities, rendering services to them and in general take all necessary steps to improve the situation of persons living with disabilities in Namibia,” said Haukambe. 
The Minister of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Doreen Sioka this week announced a new board to run the affairs of the council. 

According to Sioka, the new board members are expected to be advocates for persons living with disabilities.
“You must set yourself some goals that you want to achieve as a team and must align them with all the legal framework,” she guided. 
“The combination of ignorance, discrimination, exclusion and inaccessible environment result in people with disabilities facing enormous barriers.” The board members are Regina Hausiku, Valentina Mulongeni, Edward Eliphas, Libonina Rosco Nawa, Utarere Kandjou, Katrina Iyambo, Walde Werner, Joseph Paulus, Mirjam Sam, Beverly Somses-Hansen, Kariiue Kazonganga and Tuhafeni Shikomba.
– psiririka@nepc.com.na

Paheja Siririka
2020-06-05 09:52:27 | 1 months ago

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