Soroti leaders ask gov’t to increase Disability funding

Posted on May 10, 2022
By Admin
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By Teso Vibez Reporter

 

The leaders in Soroti City have asked the government of Uganda through the ministry of gender, labor, and social development to consider increasing their budgetary allocation to Persons with Disabilities-PWDs.

 

The Ministry of Gender, Labor, and Social Development started giving out a special grant to organized PWD groups in the 2009/10 financial year.

 

The purpose of the grant was to support income-generating activities, provide employment, improve the income status and enable Persons with Disabilities who count for about 12.5% of Uganda’s population to become partners in the development process of the country.

 

From the financial year 2020/2021, the Government enhanced the National Special Grant to 5 Billion Shillings to benefit people living with disabilities across the country but leaders say it’s still inadequate.

 

Hon Joan Alobo Achom the woman MP Soroti city said that the money is very little and the minister representing PWDs Hon Hellen Grace Asamo should lobby for its increase so that the PWDs groups can be funded appropriately.

 

According to Alobo, Soroti city received only 7million under the special grant for persons with disability to be shared between the two Divisions of East and West for the last quarter.

 

“There is the funding coming from the government but it’s not sufficient enough looking at the number of disabilities and the types of disabilities. For Soroti, we could not even have the disability day celebration and they were not happy and felt left out this is the gap I want the government to address whenever it comes to persons with disabilities the government should prioritize them” she said.

 

Frank Tumwebeze the councilor representing persons with disability in Soroti city council and also the deputy speaker said that they have properly utilized the special grant but it is inadequate given the disability population that is increasing every day.

 

He added that the government should also ensure that the legal frameworks that govern the PWDs are observed in the country.

 

This they raised before the state minister for Disability in the ministry of gender labor and social development Hon Hellen Grace Asamo during the launch of the wheelchair project at Soroti city mayor’s garden by O.J Disability care foundation.

 

The Minister for Disability Hon Hellen Grace Asamo said that whereas the funding under the special grant was meager, the government has added a 9.6billion, and also 10% of the 100 million from the PDM will be going to benefit the PWDs directly.

 

“This means that in one year the person’s with a disability will be accessing over 100 billion in a year and in the four years they will be having over 400billion and this is not meager money,” she said

 

Asamo urged the persons with disability to use the money for changing their lives, and the way they behave by accessing schools and other services.

 

“They should not get this money and begin to eat it, many people in Uganda think that if the government sends funding, thinking the president has brought money to say thank you. So I want to encourage them to use the money wisely to benefit their family” she said.

 

Julius Opoi, the OJ Disability care foundation, also emphasizes that the government through the parliament of Uganda should start a debate on allocated money in their budget for the procurement of tricycles for PWDs.

 

He added that there is high demand for mobility amongst the persons with physical disabilities in Uganda if this is provided, people with disabilities will become productive members of their communities and also aid their movement to schools and churches.

 

The wheelchair is one of the most commonly used assistive devices for enhancing personal mobility, which is a precondition for enjoying human rights and living in dignity.

 

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