Covid 2019 has increased the discrimination levels for persons with disabilities when accessing services. This is becoming the order of the day.in Kenya and other nations in the global south persons with disabilities have been confronted by substantial socio-economic encounters prior to COVID-19, including rising levels of poverty, stark labor market and income inequalities and sky-rocketing unemployment. These challenges have been severely aggravated by the COVID-19 crisis and the unprecedented disruption it has caused across all sectors of the counties regions and national economies.
This is established by “LCI report 2020 IDA 2020[ studies.
On the other hand, we need to observe WHO guidelines for our safety.
How can persons with disabilities adapt to this new phenomenon? In this context of already fragile Kenyan economies and livelihoods, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on households. Due to the global nature of the crisis, demands for countries’ exports have fallen dramatically, resulting in job losses across many industries in both the formal and informal economies. In the second wave crises government had imposed lockdown. In other words, the Lockdowns and physical distancing requirements imposed by government to curtail the spread of the virus also reduced national supply and demand within the metropolitan economies, where persons with disabilities and their care givers fend from. This resulted in the closure of many businesses and leading to further job loss. Many small- and medium-sized enterprises owed by persons with disabilities have been impacted.
Will government come to the aid of its own citizens with disabilities?
Unknowingly, many persons with disabilities find themselves at crossroads.
The social distancing model isn’t working for many of the persons with disabilities.
Casing example is my escapades in one of the cities.
We have to relight on personal assistant at our own cost.
This might be also a friend, relative. Intentionally this individual will need transport and subsistence in case of a long-term engagement.
Is it expensive being blind in the global south!
Apparently, the infrastructure
This is to say the we are in an accessible world which was not made for us!
Through several social media interactions many Blind fellows find themselves on distress calls.
This is because everyone is earing to guide blind persons due to the measures given and also ear of catching the Covid virus.
I observe, With the presences of covid discrimination is rising at an alarming speed, this has increased thus many persons who are blind are experiencing mental anguish and anxiety.
Absolutely, just imagine when it rains.
Sewage and potholes become your ally since even your white cane will be absolutely useless.
Recently, I paid the price when the rained punished me heavily my USSD of my laptop got spoil now am reconstructing my info from scratch.
Apparently, I wanted to exercise I decided to take a nature walk in the city, I almost became a victim of the tragedy.
Lucy a God sent angel came along although my white cane tip got lost in the midst of avoiding my crush in the city.
First things first.
I appreciated the kind gesture of saving me from the open sewer.
“you know being blind you are lucky, I have 11-year-old child who has cerebral pulse and has been eating through tubes? I have done my level best; he is resisted but has never recipe e support of the last year.
She continued you are lucky you can walk; your disability is not worse!
I gave the chance to listen to the story and she had a heavy heart o not forgiving the doctors who attended to her child.
She has been in and out of hospital. She just needs diapers for the adult kid.
This child with cerebral pulsi is just among many who are being marginalized and the current social assistance doesn’t cater for search.
I believe it will require a fundamental shift in the approach to social protection. It is essential that more inclusive lifecycle social protection systems are implemented, which offer social security to everyone, from the cradle to the grave.
Persons with disabilities are at higher risk of falling in to the cracks with opportunities becoming less and less every day.
Some o the models of social protection like NYS, Kazi kwa vijana in Kenya aren’t inclusive at all that’s why many Blind, Deaf blind, persons on wheelchairs will not be seen or heard on this programmes.
Isn’t it time for restructuring?
I opine A universal crisis requires a universal response, yet most global south nations are still poorly equipped to provide adequate emergency support to citizens as they do not have strong social protection systems prior to the crisis that could be easily scaled up.
additionally, the lack of personal assistants and the lack of economic wellbeing will make disabilities experience even have greater isolation, less access to inclusive education and more severe poverty.
All these factors aect the society at large.
Moreover, During COVID-19, the situation has been made even more critical. A report published by the KAIH 2020 IDA 2020 show the glaring body of evidence
On the other hand, home schooling seems to be a new concept in the global south.
For the children with cerebral pulsi and multiple impairments will government consider this? Despite some progress in most global south domesticating international frameworks and progress in the development of more adequate education laws and policies, there is no certainty that children with disabilities will benefit!
The rise of independent living strategies is match needed a government needs to oil its self so that the potently of persons with disabilities can be realized.
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The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.
Mugambi Paul is a public policy, diversity, inclusion and sustainability expert.
Australian Chief Minister Award winner
“excellence of making inclusion happen”