"INCLUSION FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN NORTHERN KENYA BY 2017 IN THE DEVOLVED SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE IN KENYA."
Following the 3rd Desert Wheel Race held in Isiolo, Kenya from 8th to 9th August 2014 which brought together a cross section of representatives of persons with disability organizations, National Council for Persons With Disability (NCPWD), Members of the County Assembly, County Executive Committee members, Chief Officers, and professionals, as well as, the national government of Kenya Officials, civil society, funding and Development partners hosted by the Northern Nomadic Disabled Persons Organizations (NONDO). Their discussion on people with disability led to the Isiolo Declaration.
We, the 78 delegates from 7 Counties s of Northern Kenya attending the 3rd DESERT WHEEL RACE on promoting access to education for Children with Disabilities in the region, held in Isiolo, Kenya from 8th to 9th August, 2014 and bringing together a cross section of representatives of persons with disability organizations, National Council for Persons With Disability (NCPWD), Members of the County Assembly, County Executive Committee members, Chief Officers, and professionals, as well as, the national government of Kenya Officials, civil society, funding and Development partners hosted by the Northern Nomadic Disabled Persons Organizations (NONDO);
- Recalling that persons with disabilities in Northern Kenya like the rest everywhere should enjoy and exercise on an equal basis with others on all human rights recognized in international, regional and national human rights instruments,
- Recalling that persons with disabilities in Northern Kenya should have a conducive environment to fully contribute to the development of their counties’ economies, societies and communities,
- Recognizing the importance of families in the provision of support and assistance for their family members with disabilities, especially those with high support needs,
- Deeply concerned that the Millennium Development Goals will not be realized by 2015 for the many persons including those from Northern Kenya living with disabilities due to the lack of inclusion and accessibility of related MDGs programmes and policies’ design, implementation and monitoring,
- Deeply disappointed by all the Northern Kenya inaccessible schools, health centers and other public facilities across Northern Kenya in the last decade that have been, every time, wasted opportunities to advance inclusion of persons with disabilities,
- Recalling that Northern Kenya is the region most affected by conflicts and the natural disaster and that persons with disabilities are at greater risks of facing violence and gaps in protection in those situations.
Based on this background understanding, Persons with Disabilities of Northern Kenya call upon all the following stakeholders to:
a) Northern Kenya MCA’s Caucus on Disability hosted by NONDO Charter shall:
- Establish strong working relationship with County Assembly and County Executive arm of Government to appropriately include persons with Disability in all affairs of the county;
- Collaborate with various CSOs to ensure appropriate delivery of rights-based approaches to issues of persons with disabilities in Northern Kenya;
- Mobilize both internal and external resources to support the disability mainstreaming and inclusion in Northern Kenya in development processes at all levels;
- Develop a networking platform for all persons with disabilities in Northern Kenya on information flow across the region on issues of access to services, resources and opportunities of these persons;
b) National Government through the National Council of Persons with Disabilities shall:
- Ensure comprehensive outreach (physical offices and programs) of the organization’s programming to the grass root of the Northern Kenya;
- Ensure increased funding to vulnerable persons with disabilities in Northern Kenya to access education scholarships;
- Promote global partnerships between states and non-states actors, Disabled Persons Organisations as well as international organisations to make development inclusive and to ensure access to needed assistive devices and support services.
c) The County Governments shall:
- Ensure that all development policies and programs, will be inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities in their diversity, including in situation of emergency and humanitarian crisis by removing barriers and ensuring access to the needed support services, such as qualified sign language interpreters, appropriate format, braille, personal assistance, and assistive devices, among others
- Ensure that adequate legal frameworks will be adopted to protect persons with disabilities from discrimination and to promote equal access to decent work and employment, including adequate vocational training and that persons with disabilities will be fully included in all economic empowerment programs and policies;
- Ensure that all infrastructures and services, water and sanitation programs and facilities, transport, information and communication technology programs, in urban and rural settings as well as refugee settlements, are accessible for all persons with disabilities in their diversity;
d) Civil Society Organizations in Northern Kenya shall:
- Promote rights-based approaches to inclusiveness and the coverage/dissemination of the same to the public;
- Advocate for networking and collaboration between DPOs in order to provide comprehensive research information disseminated to the public;
- Promote access to persons with disabilities quality inclusive education as well as life-long learning with particular attention to accessibility, availability of interpreters and teachers qualified in sign language, assistive technology, braille, alternative and augmentative material and human assistance. We also want programmes to raise awareness and to provide support to parents of children with disabilities;
- Lobby for accessibility and adequacy of health care (Universal), access to assistive devices, as well as inclusion of persons with disabilities in the emerging health insurance mechanisms;
- Advocate for the Disability Act to be comprehensively reviewed, amended and operational to ensure inclusion of emerging dynamics in the disability sector and development processes;
e) Funding and Development Agencies working in Northern Kenya shall:
- Increase funding opportunities and as well reduce funding red tape measures to support fast paced issues affecting persons with disabilities in Northern Kenya towards promoting total inclusiveness;
- Support the processes to ensure total eradication of poverty among households of persons with disabilities by promoting economic empowerment and social protection programs and policies that are inclusive of persons with disabilities as well as social protection schemes allowing persons with disabilities to cover the extra cost associated with their disability and to access support services, including for families of children with disabilities.
We, the 78 delegates from 7 Counties of Northern Kenya, therefore commit ourselves to the following:
- Lobby and advocate for the continuity of the Desert Wheel Race and each county in Northern Kenya to host the event.
- Support the quest of Northern Kenya Disability Caucus to realize its objectives through prioritizing and positioning well issues of persons with disabilities in the public through the media
- Seek strategic partnerships with funding, Research, Academic and Media institutions that recognize the need to promote disability inclusiveness.
- Sustain the continuous engagement between persons with disabilities and the government to ensure trust and appropriate information flow to the public.
Hon. Fatuma Yusuf, Chair Person Northern Kenya MCA's Caucus Group handing over the Isiolo declaration to Hon. Gulled Mohamed Deputy Governor Isiolo County.