Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development says the Federal Government through a local producer is set to produce white cane with alarms and sensor to help blind people live independently.
Farouq stated this during a press briefing to commemorate the 2020 White Cane Safety Awareness Day on Thursday in Abuja.
The theme for this year’s celebration of the Day is: “Promoting Independence and Productivity”.
The White Cane is a silver-coated metallic white cane that is used by visually impaired persons to guide them in moving around.
Since the invention of the White Cane, it has become a significant instrument to the blind persons, as well as an internationally recognised symbol that elicits help whenever and wherever their users find it difficult to move freely.
It alerts drivers and motorists that visually impaired persons are on the road. White Cane is also a device that detects obstacles in the path of the Blind.
However, Farouq said that over a billion people are living with one form of disability or the other globally.
“There is equally high prevalence in Nigeria, where it is estimated that up to ten to 15 million Nigerians are Persons with Disabilities.
“Though there is no accurate data on the number of persons in Nigeria with blindness or visual impairments, an appreciable number of the People With Disabilities in Nigeria are blind or visually impaired.
” Globally this day is being recognised to raise public awareness and sensitisation on the importance of the White Cane and the plight of millions of visually impaired persons in the world.
“One of our local producers, is at the forefront of bringing technological modifications to the conventional White Canes, making it more of a utility tool for the blind and visually impaired.
“Thus, we look forward to modern White Canes with sensors and alarms as well as other features that will help the blind and visually impaired live more independently,” Farouq said.
Farouq was represented by Alhaji Grema Ali, a Director in the Ministry.