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Establishement of the National Disability Commission in Sierra Leone

The efforts of the Technical Committee on Disability set up by the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s affairs in organizing regional consultative meetings [1] have yielded positive results with four board members of the commission nominated. The four members include Mr. Vandy Konneh, representing the Southern region, Mr. Eku Scotland, representing Eastern region, Mr. Alieu Martin Kanu, representing the Northern region and Madam Emma Turay representing the Western Area.
However, another important milestone for the Commission is the appointment of the Chairman by the President of Sierra Leone. Expectations have been very high all this while and at some moments, the Sierra Leone Union on Disability Issues (SLUDI) threatened the Government with an ultimatum to speed up the formation of the Commission before the General Elections in November, 2012.In June 16th, which was the “Day of the African Child” a pronouncement was made by the President on the nomination of the Chairman to the National Disability Commission. On the 1st August,2012 a former Principal Social Development Worker,Mr. Frederick Kamara, was confirmed by the President ,His Excellency,Dr.Ernest Bai Koroma as Chairman of the National Commission on Disability after having undergone the approval of the Parliamentary Committee validation.
However, it now remains to be seen the inauguration of the National Commission on Disability and its subsequent action plan to implement the Disability Act 2011 and to address the numerous challenges persons with disabilities face in Sierra Leone especially in the area of promoting inherent recognition of basic human rights, accessibility and employability.

The Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs collaborated intimately with the SLUDI at intermittent forums and workshops on awareness raising amongst stakeholders on the existence of the Disability Act 2011 and the urgency for the formation of the National Commission of Disability. In this direction, Handicap international has been very supportive especially in the area of funding the Regional Consultative meetings to get the four commissioners nominated. The Social Inclusion and Rights(SIR) Project has been the focal point that maintains constant links with SLUDI and the Disabled Peoples Organizations in supporting them through their awareness raising and advocacy actions for the realization of this commission in Sierra Leone.


Compiled by Issa Turay, Project Manager, DECISIPH/Handicap International, Sierra Leone

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