The City of Kigali has earmarked Rwf35 million toward a new initiative aimed at getting disabled beggars off the streets.
According to City authorities, there are currently government programmes that are meant to help the needy and the city has drawn the budget to assist the disabled baggers.
Bruno Rangira, the head of public relations and communication unit at the City of Kigali, said he believes the new budget for the disabled persons in particular will attract them to leave streets.
“This year, there is a budget of Rwf35 million allocated toward helping people with disabilities get off the streets through Gir’ubucuruzi programme,” said Rangira.
Gir’ubucuruzi is a fund established by the City of Kigali to help the needy start small businesses.
According to Rangira, there is a commission in charge of managing the fund to ensure the money serves the intended purpose.
“The commission will come up with a proper scheme of how the money allocated to disabled beggars will be used,” Rangira said.
“This is just the beginning; we intend to do the same next year. We encourage them to regroup in cooperatives so that we can support them easily.”
Meanwhile, the City has since started partnering with different local leaders out of the city to jointly facilitate the disabled people currently within the city to return to their respective villages.
“We need them to support the initiative by encouraging and assisting disabled people from their villages.”
Reacting to the development, Gaston Rusiha, a Member of Parliament representing people living with disability, said since most of the disabled beggars do not hail from the city, it would be hard to relocate them to their places of origin, especially if they are not willing to go.
He said there have been efforts to take the disabled beggars off the streets through the creation of cooperatives so that they can easily attract funding.
“Sponsorship is provided in two categories; there is sponsorship from the National Council of Persons with Disabilities Rwanda, and the sponsorship from local government authorities,” said Rusiha.