KAMPALA – State Minister for Disability Affairs, Hellen Asamo has assured people living with disabilities of the government’s commitment to consider them in one of its poverty alleviation programs dubbed, Parish Development Model program.
Asamo who was speaking at the launch of a three-day Grantee Convening of NUDIPU at Hotel Africana in Kampala said people living with disabilities will be getting 10 percent of the Parish Development Model money.
She said despite this arrangement, the government does not stop PWDs from getting into the 30% of the women, 30% of the youths and 20% of the men because they are part and parcel of the whole system.
“There is a 10% ring-fenced specially for them to ensure they ably participate in the program aimed at ensuring all Ugandans join the money economy. The 10% is shs10 million per parish for persons with disabilities. This means shs100 billion in financial 2022/23 and will continue for next four years,” she said.
The minister noted that there are still other funds in the form of the national special grants worth Shs9.6bn and an additional Shs5bn this year aimed at ensuring people living with disabilities run social-economic activities.
Asamo also told the PWDs that they should stand strong and united since the government considers streamlining the laws governing them.
“I came to give them hope of what the government does, the laws it has put in place to help them as they fight for their rights. I tell them the ground is still green for them to advocate for their rights. The process of amending laws comes from the public, as we talk now, we have an act of 2020 and other laws that support PWDs,” she said.
Esther Kyozira the Chief Executive Officer of the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) shared that as an organization, they are mobilizing their people to take part in the Parish Development Model.
“We want to see that all government programs help PWDs, we want to see that PWDs unite and work together on issues affecting them. Their laws are many, our PWD law is in place and the regulations to it are at the auditor general’s office. We pray the process is expedited to make it fully operational,” she shared.
Kyozira shared that despite the legal and policy sphere, NUDIPU notes the continued rights violations against PWDs in Uganda. She explained that with the convening, they call upon the government to speed up efforts to domesticate international rights standards on disability by adopting or reviewing existing legislation.
“We want them to take steps to implement the commitment made in relation to PWDs, especially those made during the 2022 Global Disability Summit. They should also strengthen consultation with PWDs through their representative organization in Uganda.”
The three-day Uganda grantee convening will be hosted by the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) with support from Disability Rights Fund under the theme, “Leveraging international human rights standards and practices to build forward” and will end on May, 19.
The meeting that brings together stakeholders will help in sharing lessons, experiences and good practices in the pandemic and its impact on their work and future emergencies.