The Minister of State for Gender and Culture, Hon. Peace Mutuzo has asked Parliament to consider approving the proposed budget increase for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).
She said that the current budget of Shs2 billion is insufficient and cannot support the 12.8 million PWDs.
“In our framework, we propose that this budget should be increased to shs12 billion. This money will support the councils for PWDs to be able to register PWDs to enable us effectively and efficiently plan for them,” said Mutuzo.
She was speaking during the charity walk event to raise funds towards the establishment of a centre for people living with albinism.
The event that is part of the Third Annual Parliament week 2019 activities was flagged off by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah on Sunday, 13 January 2018 at Parliament.
Mutuzo added that ministry is working with the Ministry of Education and Sports to ensure that special interest and special needs education centres are established in every region to increase access to education for children with disabilities.
“This is what the Ministry of Education is intending to do at least within the next financial year,” said Mutuzo.
The Member of Parliament representing PWDs in the Central Region, Hon. Safia Nalule noted that people living with albinism still face the challenge of access to education and sunscreen among others. She added that people with albinism are prone to trafficking and sacrifice.
She said that in a bid to protect the rights of people living with albinism, a private member’s Bill titled, “The protection of the rights of persons with albinism Bill, 2018 has been drafted”.
“I request that we scrutinize this Bill and make our contributions before I seek leave of Parliament to allow me introduce this Bill,” said Nalule.
She noted the need to organise international conferences aimed at bringing together stakeholders to discuss strategies to improve the lives of persons living with albinism.
People living with albinism called on the Ministry of Education and Sports to give students with albinism extra time during national examinations.
The Executive Director, Uganda Albino Association, Jude Ssebyanzi said that given their visual inaccuracy, persons living with albinism cannot read as fast as other students.
“We need at least 30 extra minutes during national examinations so that we can compete with the rest of the students,” said Ssebyanzi.
He also asked the Ministry of Education and Sports to ensure that students with albinism are given front seats in classrooms and reading material with bigger fonts.
The Commissioner, Physical Education at the Ministry of Education and Sports, Lamex Omara Apita promised that the Ministry of Education will discuss the issues raised.
“As a Ministry, we do pursue the laws of the land and policies regarding persons who are marginalized. We shall do the same for persons with albinism within our means,” said Omara Apita.
Parliamentary Commissioner, Hon. Cecilia Ogwal who represented the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga pledged that the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Albinism Bill, 2018 will be handled expeditiously.
She said that people living with albinism need to be given hope, courage and absorbed into the community.
“People with albinism are living in agony. Silent discrimination is worse than open discrimination. Your lives are in danger all the time,” said Ogwal.
Ogwal also called on stakeholders to find ways of mobilizing funds to support Parliament’s efforts to establish a centre for people living with albinism, besides the charity walk.
“The Speaker of Parliament has requested me to remind you that we have so far raised only shs72 million out of the expected shs5 billion. If only our partners could find other avenues of raising this money so that we can make this centre a reality,” said Ogwal.