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Niko Fiti caravan gives 80 walking aids

By Benard Sanga

Mombasa county : It was an early Christmas for people with physical disabilities in Mombasa after the Kenya Reinsurance Corporation Limited (Kenya Re) and the Standard Media Group provided them with walking aids.

The 80 assorted devises were given to beneficiaries through the three-year Niko Fiti campaign that has seen the distribution of over 500 devises across the country.

“The devises will minimise our suffering and restore the human dignity that people with disabilities had lost,” said Margaret Manga after she was given a wheelchair after years of crawling.

Six-year-old Caroline Micere could not hold back tears after she was given a special wheelchair saying: “I can only thank God for the gift and ask Him to bless the sponsors.”

The third and final phase of the Niko Fiti campaign, which kicked off in Nairobi on Monday would see persons with disabilities in lower eastern and coast benefit from 277 devices.

Kenya-Re Managing Director Jadiah Mwarania said though the earlier plan was to run the campaign for three years, which came to its conclusion with the last phase, the company had decided to continue for the next three years.

“In the last three campaigns, we have witnessed how this initiative has made people with disabilities independent. As a company, we want to be associated with disabled people and that is why we will continue with this campaign for the next three years,” said Mr Mwarania.

He said some of the beneficiaries had either sold or given them away to other people and called on those who had not benefited to register with the Association of the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) and indicate their needs.

Mvita MP Abdullswamad Nassir told counties to come on board and support the campaign to make it sustainable for people with different disabilities to benefit every year.

“I thank Kenya-Re and the Standard Group but we also need to support these initiatives like the counties to make sure those with disabilities are not marginalised,” said Mr Nassir.

He commended Mombasa county government for its policy of not approving plans for buildings that have no clear provisions on how to accommodate the disabled.

The representative of people with disabilities in Mombasa County Assembly Harrison Karume urged the campaign to also consider providing hearing aid devices for hearing impaired people.