The Rehabilitation Institute for the Blind (RIB) in Bulu, Buea has gone for three years without portable water, forcing its blind trainees to trek hundreds of meters to fetch water from a nearby stream(called Ndongo), The Recorder has learnt.
Although a state –owned institution, RIB Bulu whose mission is to equip the blind aged between 12 and 35 with marketable skills, is poorly equipped and funded.
As at January 15, 2014, when your reporter visited the institute it had no service vehicle and the campus was untidy.
These are just some of the challenges that newly installed Director of RIB Mr. Ekane Edmund Ebweh will have to overcome.
Commissioned into office last January 13 by the Southwest Regional Delegate for Social Affairs Asongtia Foreke Valentine, the new Director of RIB was tasked to work extra hard to standardize the institute, which was created in 1967.
After creation the institute first operated in Bavenga in Muyuka subdivision, before it was moved to the present site Bulu, in 1980. RIB has trained many blind Cameroonians.
With an in-take capacity of about 50, RIB currently has only 14 trainees.
The new director, who took over from his predecessor Fomenky Nicodemus, has launched an appeal to the public for parents to send their blind children to RIB Bulu for skills training.
Speaking to The Recorder, Mr.Ekane Ebweh noted that disability is not inability. He added that the Cameroon government is determined to assist in several ways the physically challenged.
Mr.Ekane has come back to RIB as director for the second time. He had earlier been RIB director from 2006 to 2009. His predecessor Mr. Fomenky managed the institute from 2009 to 2013, when he retired.