Local leaders in Gasabo, Gakenke, Gatsibo, Ngororero and Nyaruguru districts have been accused of sidelining people living with disabilities (PLWDs) while offering available opportunities.
Jean Damascene Nsengiyumva, the executive secretary of the National Union of Disabilities Organisations of Rwanda (Nudor), said as a result, people with disabilities in the five districts have not benefited from various government poverty reduction programmes such as VUP Umurenge, Ubudehe, and One Cow Per-Family.
He was speaking at a news briefing to announce findings of a survey.
“We carried out research to find how people with disability are helped into public service as others do, we’ve seen that local authorities sideline people with disability. They deny them their rights,” Nsengiyumva.
“Some people with disability have not benefited from poverty reduction programmes such as EDPRs1. We want local government institutions to integrate people with living disability in EDPRS2 as long as they are able according to their level of disability,” he added.
He said people with disability should be considered in each programme as recommended in EDPRS1.
Statistics indicate that more than 5 per cent of Rwandans live with various disabilities.
Nudor wants government to categorise people with disability to find way to provide for them the needed support according to degree of one’s disability.
In the workplace, laws and regulations exist to protect the disabled against discrimination. For instance, the labour law in Article 12 on non-discrimination says: “It shall be forbidden to directly or indirectly make any discrimination aiming at denying the worker the right to equal opportunity... when the discrimination is based upon disability.”
Marie Louise Uwimana, the in-charge of social affairs in Gasabo district, however, said people with disabilities are supported depending on the categories of their disability.
“We have them in cooperatives where we support them. We can’t see someone with disability and we ignore their plight. We even have some financial projects we are planning for PLWDs,” she said.
Uwimana said PLWDs have representatives in their respective sectors, who follow up on their issues at district level.