Makeni City in the northerner province of Sierra Leone is reportedly having over one thousand disabled persons, comprising of amputees, polio victims, lepers, and blind persons. This was disclosed to Awoko on Sunday by Councilor Ibrahim Teddy Sesay, of ward 89, constituency 28 in the Bombali district.
In an interview, Councilor Sesay said, a survey conducted in the city before the local council elections in the district showed that, the city of Makeni was having over six hundred polios, four hundred blind persons, two hundred and eighty-six amputees, and one hundred and twenty-six lepers.
The Councilor, who is a disabled person as well, stated that over the years, it has proved difficult to include dumb persons in disability programs due to the difficulties in the medium of communication.
Since he became councilor, Sesay said, he has had several meetings with stakeholders in the district of Bombali in an effort to ensure the inclusion of disabled persons in all decision making process in the district. He said, he has lobbied recently to ensure disabled persons are made ward committee members in the running of councils, as that could be one way of encouraging them.
On challenges they are facing, Ibrahim Sesay said, most disabled persons want to go to sshool but could not due to financial difficulties, and as such, is appealing for government’s attention. “I have been working with other institutions like NGO’s to see how disabled persons could be supported”, Councilor Sesay said.
Appealing further, Sesay said, “I am appealing to stakeholders or anybody reading this paper [Awoko] to come to the aid of disabled persons. Please help us [disabled] to get access to our basic needs”.