By Kesah Princely, in Buea.
The Co-ordinator General of the Co-ordinating Unit of Associations of Persons with Disabilities (CUAPWD) North West Region, says the crisis in Anglophone Cameroon has made life unbearable for persons with disabilities.
During a recent media outing, Samuel Nincho revealed that the secessionist armed conflict has affected people with disability educationally, economically, as well as politically.
Education-wise, persons with disabilities face enormous challenges.
“We are suffering from discrimination, limited infrastructure and poverty, which make it difficult for children with disability to achieve quality education,” Nincho said.
The Anglophone crisis and COVID-19, he added, have only exacerbated the situation.
The disability mainstreaming crusader — a person with visual impairment himself — says CUAPWD has documented the experiences of some persons with disabilities in the North West region.
He intimated that only 43 of 157 students with disabilities in the North West currently have access to education, owing to insecurity.
Economically, Mr. Nincho said over 250 thousand persons with varrying disabilities have been hit by the devastating conflict.
“If we do not die of stray bulets, we will surely be killed by hunger, neglect or lack of access to medical care,” he lamented.
Most persons with disabilities who were economic operators before the Ambazonian struggle for independence began, are now finding life difficult.
“They have been compelled to spend their trading capitals in order to stay alive,” Mr Nincho revealed.
The advocate said he feared many of his peers might have perished in most of the villages and houses razed by actors in the conflict.
Samuel Nincho says he has been trapped in crossfire between government forces and Ambazonian fighters in Bamenda several times.
“I have resigned to fate many times because I do not know whether to run to the left or right due to gunshots,” he recounted.
He outlined that it was his wish for the crisis to be resolved, so that persons with disabilities could resume their activities normally.