PLWDs seek more say in development plans

Policy makers should involve people living with disabilities in national development plans as well as implementation processes.

Policy makers should involve people living with disabilities in national development plans as well as implementation processes.

Organisations of people living with disabilities from Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa, through their Alliance for Poverty Eradication project of the Secretariat of African Decade of Persons with Disabilities (SADPD), said this at meeting in Kigali last week.

Jean Damascene Nsengiyumva, the Executive Secretary of the National Union of Disabilities’ Organisations of Rwanda (NUDOR), told the meeting that there is need for tangible income generating projects to reduce poverty among the disabled people in the three countries.

He commended the inclusion of disability issues in the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) II  in Rwanda, but he said this was not enough.

“Service providers need to understand disability issues.  There is also a need to categorise people with disabilities to identify the neediest,” Nsengiyumva said.

In the Rwandan parliament, there is a seat reserved for PLWDs

Thomas Ogolo, South Africa SADPD programme director,  noted that across Africa, governments exclude disability issues in development plans.

“This calls for more engagement with governments to involve people with disability in development plans and implementation,” he said.

Oumar Diop, from Senegalese Federation of Disability Associations, said they were concerned about reports of extreme poverty among disabled people.

In Senegal, as elsewhere across Africa, he said, education for people with disability is expensive as they need special materials, thus dropping out when they do not have financial support.

Diop added that his country has shown political will to promote people with disability and that since 2000 disabled people are represented in different government organs.

However, he said this was not enough because disabled people also need to be among decision makers and leaders such as district mayors, parliamentarians and so on.

The SADPD Alliance for poverty eradication project started in 2012 and is scheduled to end its activities next year.

Subscribe to The New Times E-Paper


You want to chat directly with us? Send us a message on WhatsApp at +250 788 310 999    

 

Follow The New Times on Google News