A survey conducted by SEND-Ghana, has revealed that Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) are dissatisfied with the fact that they have no representatives as signatories to the disability bank accounts opened by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
District Coordinating Directors and District Finance officers are the two signatories to the account, but for purposes of enhancing transparency and accountability, PWDs are demanding to have their representatives as third signatory to the accounts in each of the district.
Sharing the findings of the survey in Wa during a sensitization workshop for PWDs, Mr. Adamu Mukaila, Programme Officer of SEND-Ghana, Upper West Programme Area further disclosed that contrary to the guidelines, there were no systems in place to check District Assemblies from borrowing from the accounts.
“Almost 60% of Coordinating Directors interviewed confirmed that the Assemblies sometimes borrow from the disability accounts”, he noted.
The survey also revealed that only 20% of District Fund Management Committees (DFMCs), have conducted monitoring visits to ascertain how beneficiaries were applying the funds, while the 80% cited lack of funds and time as reasons for their inability to conduct any monitoring visits.
On management of the fund, the results of the survey also showed that MMDAs often fail to communicate the release of funds as well as the account involved, to DFMCs.
70% of DFMCs interviewed indicated that they did not receive official notification from the Assemblies regarding release of funds into the disability accounts, while the 30% who claim they received official notification, 60% of them could not provide official letters when requested for.
The survey cited Sissala West District as the top best performing District in the region in terms of management of the disability fund.
Participants at the sensitization workshop called for the need for all applications to pass through the hands of the Committees for vetting and approval, before submission to the Assembly for payment.
This, they believe, would help them identify and eliminate all those who are not disabled, and are benefiting from the fund illegally.
Again they stressed the need for a database of all PWDs in the various districts to enable them track all those who move from one district to the other, trying to double access the fund.