Local Development: SEEPD program talks UCCC members into Inclusion

By Bakah Derick 

The Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) program of the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services CBCHS has expressed the need for councils in the North West Region to consider inclusion as an integral part of their development agenda. 
The SEEPD program represented by the Local Governance Advisor of the CBCHS Bunyuy Emmanuel made the advance towards the councils on Thursday 14 April 2022 during the United Councils and Cities of Cameroon (UCCC) meeting of North West Mayors in Bamenda. 

In a presentation on Local Councils and Inclusion, the Local Governance Advisor indicated that the SEEPD program has been working with some councils and there was need for all councils to intentionally engage the inclusive development process. 
Highlighting some activities realised with the councils, Emmmuel Bunyuy talked about the ten councils supported to introduce accessibility plugins on their websites with the view to improve navigation for users with disabilities, accessibility audits has been completed in thirteen municipal councils and provided with technical support while ten councils provided with material support to improve physical accessibility in council offices and services, access signages, plagues, banners and sign boards bearing key messages on inclusion and safeguarding installed at key service delivery points in ten councils to provide directive and raise awareness on disability rights, launch of an award of excellence in CBID development for councils amongst others. 

These activities he said are expected to achieve results such as;: "the capacity of councils and decentralisation support structures to mainstream disability is assessed, access to municipal services and infrastructure improved, the capacity of councils to mainstream disability in community development is strengthened." 
The Mayor of Nkambe Council Musa Shey Nfor admitted that inclusion is already an important part of his work. He expressed satisfaction with the steps already taken between his council and the SEEPD program adding that in the days ahead, the relationship will be better. 

"Let me tell you that we have services in our council focusing on persons with disabilities and so in addition to the partnership with the SEEPD program, we have this as a policy in our institution." Mayor Musa Shey Nfor said 
Local Governance Advisor CBCHS Emmanuel Bunyuy 

After talking to the Mayors, Emmanuel Bunyuy told www.hilltopvoices.com that while addressing them, he noticed a high level of neutrality but he expressed hope stating that "inclusion is the future" and it is important they all get on board. With Mayors being politicians, the SEEPD program representative said his institution has decided to partner with the Buea based institution charged with the training of local council administrators; NASLA to ensure that council operation managers like Secretaries General, Municipal treasurers and council development officers received training that is inclusion oriented. 

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