The Christian Association of the Blind (CAB) has alarmed over the Government of Liberia lack of interest in financing the education of visually impaired people in the country, something which the group threatened that if the State doesn’t act in allocating budget or alternative support for the disabled community, it will assemble members of the community from across the country at a strategic location to demand their rights.
The Association head and chief executive, Beyan G. Kota, noted in a press release that the Association has arrived at the point where it cannot continue to work for the education of the blind people where government is lackadaisical with the education and economic development of people living with disabilities.
According to Mr. Kota, the draft national budget from Finance Minister Tweh’s office presented to the Executive Branch for Fiscal Year 2020/2021 national budget which President George M. Weah submitted to the Legislature in the tone of US$535,452,000, US$9 million more than the previous budget, did not include allocation for the disabled community.
The CAB boss expressed his disappointment over the decision of Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweh to return surplus in the neighborhood of USD$10m which Tweh said was accrued from the 2019/2020 national budget, when the surpluses should be able to take care of the basic necessity of life especially education, health, electricity and water, which are still not fully available and affordable.
“At this point in time we cannot continue to work for the education of blind people where the government has lost interest in financing the education of the blind. If nothing is done by the State, we will mobilize disable people from across the country to stage peaceful demonstrations in demand of our rights from the Liberian government,” Mr. Kota said, describing the action of the government as sheer neglect against impoverished Liberians.
“Minister Tweh boosting of returning USD$10 million surplus is arrogant and a mockery against the impoverished Liberian people. The Government has lost commitment for which they were elected, because these surpluses should address the basic needs of the Liberian people,” Mr. Kota stated, adding, the Weah’s Government hasn’t been able to take care of the responsibility it has with the people of Liberia.
Kota added: “And this is the message we would like to send to the Government of Liberia. This time around if nothing is done about budgetary allocation, we too will join ranks with others to demonstrate and register a particular concern we have, especially when the government neglects its responsibility of educating people living with disabilities.
According to him, this is a Country where its citizens with disabilities who long for education and economic empowerment and the Government refuses to provide the opportunity or support. He said it is time for CAB to take action and act appropriately.
He spoke at the climax of a two-day session, held 8th – 9th September, 2020 at the organization’s Headquarters in Duazon, Margibi County.
The program was held under the theme, “Women Confidence Building” aimed to encourage visually impaired women to overcome their challenges and take up their respectful role for national leadership. Mr. Kota disclosed that the sessions will follow a financial management training consisting of the leadership of CAB branches and representatives of national leadership across the country.