At least 1,200 people living with disability have received foodstuffs across Nyamira County, Woman Representative Jerusha Momanyi said, in an exercise targeting the vulnerable population within the community.
The programme will culminate in Nyamira North on Friday, with the team relying on records from provincial administration, which has exclusive mandate to protect and handle the welfare of the disabled in the society.
Mrs Momanyi said they traversed in Manga and Masaba North besides also reaching out to sections of Borabu Sub County.
“Seven wards have been covered with over 300 disabled people reached,” Mrs. Momanyi said.
Some of the items donated include sugar, rice, salt, wheat flour and face masks. On Wednesday, the team dispatched the items in parts of Nyamira South, which also hosts the headquarters of the county government.
She said the exercise will be expanded in coming days as part of cushioning the vulnerable in the society. Those who live in abject poverty will be brought on board irrespective of their tribal, social and political inclination.
"This (PLWD) is a special group living within us and as their leader, I am reaching out to each of them so that we can help them during this unprecedented challenge. We are covering all the sub counties within Nyamira,” she said.
"I am very certain that we shall expand the program in coming days for the sake of those living in abject poverty, not necessarily those living with disability. It's important that we help those who can't sustain these tough economic times," the Woman Rep added.
At some sections of Masaba North especially in Gesima, she said, most beneficiaries had not been registered by government authorities. For them to access essential government services, she noted, they must reach out to authorities.
President Uhuru ordered for disbursement of Sh500 million owed to people living with disability a fortnight ago as part of efforts to help as the country continues to struggle with COVID-19 pandemic. The money, he said, will be channeled with existing money transfer schemes, which involves strict adherence to records.
"I was shocked to discover that many of them are not registered with government entities. I have talked to the County Commissioner and I am hopeful that they will be listed for the sake of having all of them on board,” said Momanyi.
She noted that to combat Coronavirus pandemic, all people living with disabilities should wear face masks besides adhering to strict government regulations, which include using sanitizers and avoiding handshakes, adding that more masks will be distributed to all needy members.
The exercise comes just a month after the Nyamira Woman Representative distributed hand sanitizers and water drums across the region, targeting strategic areas mostly town centers and markets.
County Commissioner Amos Mariba lauded the initiative by the county MP, noting that "we appreciate such personal initiatives as authorities. I wish to thank her and other well-wishers for stepping in, this is not a government crisis, it needs us all.”
County Executive Committee Member in charge of health Mr. Douglas Bosire on Wednesday warned that the county is not safe, urging residents to adhere to guidelines issued by the government and the local authorities.
"This doesn't mean we are safe. I urge all residents to adhere to regulations set by the national government. This is a problem to all of us, we must tolerate one another," he said while receiving face masks from World Vision in Nyamira on Wednesday.
By estimation, Mrs. Momanyi said the county could be having slightly more than 2000 disabled persons once the government takes records in coming days. Local administrators among them Assistant County Commissioners and chiefs are supervising the exercise as directed by the ministry of interior.
As of Wednesday, Kenya had recorded 582 positive cases of COVID-19. Of this number, 192 had been discharged from quarantine facilities while 26 have since died, health minister Mutahi Kagwe said.