“The sole responsibility of government is to promote the cause of the disabled in the country,” said Kadiatu Kargbo a polio victim who begs around ECOWAS Street in Freetown.
Talking about their means of living, she said every day they were out in the streets begging passers-bye for few Leones.
Asked why she was not engaged in any job that would enhance a better condition of living for her, Kadiatu said she was faced with three problems: she is a woman, a disabled and not educated.
“Tell me what can I do to enhance myself? She asked.
“Few years back I tried to find myself employment by plaiting the hair of school kids and I went around town finding a job. Some say they were in sympathy with me but could not give me a job. Some even confessed that they would not employ a disabled.” Explaining about discrimination the polio victim said, “there is no law that governs us even when we go to hospitals we are treated the same way they do to those who are not disabled.”
To know if there is any law governing the disabled in Sierra Leone Awoko spoke to Jonathan Conteh, the executive director of Vision for the Blind, as his organization caters for the right of the disabled.
He disclosed that indeed there were no laws or policies protecting the rights of the disabled.
Jonathan Conteh stated that the Ministry of Social Welfare initiated one bill but could not complete it as “we were informed that they have no finance to complete the project.
But the government whose role is to protect the rights of its citizens could not give funding for the project.”
The executive director, himself a blind, stressed that “if there is no law we will always be vulnerable and remain to be disadvantaged.”
Mr Conteh said before the end of the lifespan of parliament they were informed by the Law Reform Commission that they would ensure that their bill was passed but nothing was done.
“I was hoping and praying that our bill would be among the bills that would be passed into law. We are urging the Commission to do something for us as we are in a humiliating situation,” he echoed.