All must help to promote freedom of movement of the Blind – GUB

Mr. Job Buobunaa, Chairman of the Upper West Regional Branch of the Ghana Union of the Blind, on Friday stated that the freedom of movement of the Blind must be jealously and totally promoted by every citizen of Ghana.

He said that was a fundamental human right enshrined in the Constitution of the land and all must respect it , pointing out that the White Cane was a property of the Blind and that they value it as gold.

“This basic tool of the blind facilitates crossing of gutters and roads. It helps us in the identification of objects, gives us the power to enjoy our freedom and ability of movement and it is our sense of our own value and it must be respected by every citizen of Ghana”, Mr. Bluobunaa emphasised.

Mr. Buobunaa was addressing members of the Union in Wa to mark the “White Cane Safety Day” celebration, which was on the theme: “White cane, a symbol of independence, dignity and inclusion”.

He said the White Cane was not only a tool for the blind person in Ghana, but it was an international instrument that was highly respected and recognised by all countries of the United Nations.

He appealed to stakeholders who were responsible for the construction of roads to adopt a comprehensive approach to factor in structures which were disability-friendly, noting: “The inability of contractors to do this would mean hindering our freedom of movement”.

Mr. Buobunaa also appealed to non-governmental organisations, institutions and philanthropists to assist in the acquisition of the white cane for the Blind, especially   students of the Wa Methodist School for the Blind whose belongings including their white canes were destroyed in the two fire disasters that affected the school this year.

Mr. Hamidu Harruna, Upper West Regional Director of Social Welfare, said the restriction in the ability to go about was regarded as the most severe hindrance in the life of the Blind.

He commended all blind people in the Region for the growing spirit of independence and the increasing determination to be self-reliant.

He said many people risk going blind due to their failure to receive early treatment for eye infections and called for regular eye screening to help reduce blindness in the communities.

Mr. Harruna said statistically, about 20 per cent of Ghanaians have conditions like glaucoma which did not show any sign or symptoms that something was wrong with the eyes.

He appealed to motorists to accord blind persons using the streets and roads with special consideration and courtesies especially, when they raise the white cane, they must be allowed to cross without any hindrance.

The Motor Transport and Traffic Unit of the Ghana Police Service must also protect the Blind in the Municipality by applying the necessary sanctions that would bring sanity into road usage.

Mr. Harruna called on the Media to acknowledge the abilities of the Visually Impaired by equalization of opportunities for them and to create awareness for the public to patronage institutions established for the training of disabled persons.

Source: GNA

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