Members of Parliament have asked Government to increase funds dedicated to Persons with Disabilities to match the growing population as the country prepares to commemorate the International Day of PWDs.
Uganda is scheduled to mark the International Day of PWDs on 03 December 2019 under the theme, ‘Promoting Disability Inclusive Programming for an Accessible Future’.
In a statement to Parliament on Wednesday, 27 November 2019, the Minister of State for Gender, Hon Peace Mutuuzo said as part of the activities to mark the day, guidelines for the special grant for PWDs will be launched.
The Special Grant Programme for PWDs is an initiative by Government to address their livelihoods and income by providing an opportunity to enhance financial inclusion, promote entrepreneurship and effective participation in economic development of the country.
Hon. Safia Nalule (NRM, PWD National) however, said that the Shs3 billion special grant is insufficient for the six million PWDs.
Hon. Syda Bbumba (NRM, Nakaseke North) proposed that the fund be increased to Shs10 billion if it is to make an impact in the lives of PWDs.
“People who are physically challenged require more funds,” Bbumba said.
Masaka Municipality MP, Hon. Mathias Mpuuga called for actualisation of interventions for the disabled especially in education.
“Why would a disabled person suffer to look for school fees? One of the responsibilities of government is to take care of the PWDs. Government should materialise basic needs for the disabled like wheel chairs,” he said.
Hon. David Abala (NRM, Ngora County) said that children with disabilities are forced to drop out of school because of lack of learning materials.
“We have a school for the blind in Soroti and they do not have learning materials. Funds should be given to such schools,” he said.
Hon. Margaret Baba Diri (NRM, Koboko district) appealed for rehabilitation and counseling of newly disabled people. She appealed to government to establish more centres for rehabilitation.
Hon. Hellen Asamo (NRM, PWDs Eastern) called for the implementation of the Building Control Act which mandates all buildings to provide ramps for PWDs.
“We are happy that Parliament has made a provision of parking for disabled MPs but you still find some able members still parking there,” she said.
Hon. Jesca Ababiku (NRM, Adjumani district) appealed for the gazzetting of the PWDs Day just like is the case with the Women and Youth days, adding that it should be commemorated countrywide.
The International Day of PWDs was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly to create awareness on the rights and needs of Persons with Disabilities. Uganda will hold this year’s national celebrations in Iganga district.