Government Urged To Increase Disability Fund Allocation

Mr Apanea Kadiri Issah, Bolgatanga Municipal Chairman of the Ghana Federation of the disability (GFD) in the Upper East Region has appealed to government for increase in the three per cent allocation of the common fund as allocations to some districts were inadequate.

He lamented that the growing membership in the municipality and the inability of the quarterly GH¢21,000 fund allocation to the Bolgatanga Municipality could not address challenges of the increasing needs of members.

Mr Issah who made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga said as a member of application vetting committee only 34 members benefitted from the first and second quarter allocations, while the third quarter was yet to be received.

He said though the three per cent fund allocation was regular, it could not cover all who applied and stressed that 30 applications were still pending.

Mr Issah who took over as the regional Chairman in 2019 said there was the need for regular updates to be conducted and added that current membership of the Federation in the Municipality stood at 150 persons and urged that fund allocation should be made to commensurate with growing membership in the municipality.

“The money is not adequate to address members’ requests for support to undertake income generating activities or expand them”. He stated.

According to him there were application requests that were yet to receive support for either a purchase of deep freezers, container or kiosks and for petty trading among others and added that due to new applicants, the funds received did not meet requirement.

Mr David Ania, Regional President of GFD who also spoke in an interview lamented the delay in release of the funds and noted that the back lock of applications of members did not speak well, as the year get to a close without the third and fourth quarter allocation received.

Responding to reasons for increasing beneficiaries to the fund, the regional president attributed it to education and sensitization by the organization on the use of fund ,as positive cause but was however worried that though there were some genuine cases, some dubious people have taken to faking their disability to be able to access the fund.

“I urge the Municipal and district assemblies to make timely disbursement to enable the committees appropriately address beneficiary application needs so that they do not come back.

Inadequacy of funds from assemblies made beneficiaries to receive sums that do not match their request.

The Regional President also condemned over politicization of the fund disbursement and indicated it did not allow the screening committees to do due diligence in the assessment of applications especially when applicants were pushed to them at the time of disbursements.

“This cannot allow the committee to verify the truth about the applications and what the money is going to be for hence giving money to wrong people”. Mr Ania reiterated.

He said the regional three capacity staff office, and the 15 district offices were expected to monitor the beneficiaries and ensure efficient use of funds, but could not effectively do so since they had to depend on the same three percent fund allocation.