The Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) is ready to initiate the construction of the first-of-its-kind factory dedicated to producing, assembling, and repairing assistive devices.
The estimated Sh500 million project aims to alleviate the challenge of accessing crucial tools and position Kenya as a regional powerhouse in supporting special needs education.
Assistive devices and services encompass products or services specifically crafted to enhance greater independence for People With Disabilities(PWDS). These include wheelchairs, crutches, hearing aids, calipers, surgical boots, and prosthetic arms or legs.
Nairobi Wire understands that the Kenya Institute of Special Education will issue a tender for the construction of the factory later this week.
On Wednesday, KISE director Norman Kiogora said the project will be constructed in Mavoko and is anticipated to be completed by 2025.
Kiogora mentioned that funds for the construction have already been secured, and the groundbreaking for the project is scheduled to commence later this year.
“The factory design has been designed by the Kenya School of TVET under a government-to-government deal and we will be floating the construction tender this week,” Kiogoria said as quoted by the Standard.
Kiogora emphasized that producing the devices locally in the factory will significantly reduce their cost.
“Majority of the assistive devices cannot be found in the local marketplace like exercise books rulers, pens, wheelchairs, a white cane, a magnifying glass and a hearing aid,” he said.
Once operational, the KISE Director expects the factory to position Kenya as a key provider of support for special needs learners in the region.
“Other countries in the region will depend on Kenya to source the devices and this will create a regional powerhouse in supporting learners with special needs,” Kiogora said.
He mentioned that the factory will also play a crucial role in the repair and maintenance of already existing assistive devices for special needs.