57 districts fail to apply for special PWD grant

Minister Sarah Kanyike addressing the press in her office at the Gender Ministry headquarters. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 57 districts have failed to apply for the National Special Grant for Persons with Disabilities-PWDs, the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development has revealed. The National Special Grant for Persons with Disabilities-PWDs is aimed at boosting the household income of PWDs.

They include among others Kalangala, Nkore, Kalungu, Kyotera, Kayunga, Lira, Amudat, Gomba, Kwen, Ngora, Butambala, Mpigi, Nakapiripiti, Nakasongola and Adjumani districts. Others are Amuru, Apach, KAsese, Budibugyo, Ntoroko, Moroto, Abim, Kapchorwa, Kabong, Agago, Omoro, Oyam, Moyo, Tororo, Kumi, Bukedea, Kibuku, Amuria, Karaki, Katakwi, Kaberabyong, Buliisa, Hoima, Masindi, Rukiga and Kyegegwa districts.

According to the ministry, PWDs leaders in districts are expected to organize the PWDs in groups of between 5 to 15 people and submit their files to the district for final submission to the Gender Ministry for funding. Each group is entitled to a maximum of Shillings 5,000,000 for the selected activity.

Addressing journalists about the disbursement of the National Special Grant for Persons with Disabilities-PWDs, the Disability and Elderly Affairs State Minister, Sarah Kanyike said although the grant is demand-driven, it is unfortunate that some districts have never submitted files for funding.

She revealed that the Ministry has written to the affected districts reminding them to submit groups and their files for funding. She called upon PWD leaders to mobilize PWDs to benefit from the grant.

The Special Grant belongs to Persons with Physical disability caused by cerebral palsy, amputation of a limb, paralysis or deformity, hearing disability including deafness and hard of hearing, visual disability including blindness and low vision disability, deaf and blind disability among others, according to the Persons with Disabilities Act 2020.

In the 2019/20 financial year, the Ministry disbursed Shillings 981,656,000 to 198 PWD groups in Gulu, Mbale, Iganga, Yumbe, Lyantonde, Sheema, Kyakwanzi, Kiboga and Bushenyi districts among others.  Kanyike noted that due to enormous disruptions by COVID-19, the ministry was unable to reach many groups as they anticipated.

The Ministry has planned to disburse grants to 800 PWD groups whose files have been submitted this financial year 2020/21. So far, 143 groups have received funds in twenty-four districts in the first quarter. A total of Shillings 707,430,000 has been disbursed to the groups.

The Ministry plans to disburse over Shillings 1 billion to 248 groups in 27 districts in different regions across the country in the second quarter that will start in January. Kanyike says a region like Acholi, which has 10 groups in Pader district will receive Shillings 50 million and Ankole in Ntugamo district with 10 groups will also receive Shillings 50 million among others.

However, Kanyike noted that districts like Pakwach, Otuke, Lamwo, Kiruhura, Mbarara submitted their files for funding when the verification exercise had been completed.  She noted that these will be considered in the third quarter probably in the middle of the year 2021.

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