24 February 2024

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Lira: PWDs’ turn up for national ID cards registration low – NIRA

Many sub-counties have no electricity which means the NIRA team has to travel back to Lira city to enter their data.
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Last Updated on: 17th February 2022, 04:32 pm

Lira city and Lira district PWDs want to benefit from different government programs after national IDs are issued by NIRA.


By Acipa Doreen

Lira – February 16, 2022: National Identification Registration Authority (NIRA) says it is worried over the low turn up of Person with Disabilities (PWDs) during the ongoing registration for National Identification Cards (IDs).

The exercise is being carried out across the country and Lira is having a low turn up.

February 16 is the third day of the exercise in the different sub-counties and divisions in Lira district and Lira city, respectively. 

Innocensia Akullu, the district returning officer of the NIRA office spoke with TND News Wednesday.

“We are receiving a very low turn-up as the registration exercise goes on,” she said.

Akullu who has been in the field since the exercise began on February 14, 2022, said they served only two persons on day one and at least 15 persons on the second day.

“There is a slight improvement on the third day.” 

In Lira district, the exercise started from Bar sub-county for three days while other sub-counties will have two days each until February 28, 2022.

Many disabled females are coming for registration compared to men, according to Akullu.

She also added that the young disabled persons are turning in greater numbers compared to adults.

Challenges 

Many sub-counties have no electricity which means the NIRA team has to travel back to Lira city to enter their data.

Transport to carry the disabled persons to the registration venue is also affecting the exercise, Akullu said.

“There was limited time for mobilization and enough has not been done,” the NIRA officer further told us. 

Asked ‘why there is a low turn up’?, mobilizer for the registration activity Jonathan Jimmy Odongo who is also the male councilor representing PWDs in Lira City West Division said, “We did our best in contacting the disabled representatives in all the sub-counties.”

“Only that transporting the disable persons is one of the biggest challenges affecting the exercise,” he added.

Aisha Bint Abdu, the female councilor representing PWDs in Lira City Council said, “Out of the 15 forms I had, 10 has been picked meaning the turn up will be good.”

According to Bint, she is yet to check how many forms are picked from the district union.

In 2015, the government of Uganda came up with the
registration of all nationals for identification cards. 

The chairperson National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) of Lira City, Mathew Omara spoke at length with Our Reporter, Acipa Doreen.

Omara, who is also the male councilor representing PWDs in Lira City Council said many persons with different categories of disabilities did not get the national IDs.

“The last registration was requiring things like thumbprints yet some people are disabled from their hands.”

Omara also said many persons with disabilities have been missing the government projects such as National Special Grants for Disabled Persons because they lack national IDs.

And because of that, Omara explained that in 2021, NUDIPU requested the government through the NIRA office for special consideration to registering persons with disabilities to own national IDs.

In response, the government through NIRA has come up with an exercise that will run for two weeks in a bid to register all the disabled persons for national IDs across the country. 

“We expect to register at least more than 20,000 persons during the exercise and this will be of great help for us to benefit from the government projects like Parish Development Model, Social Assistant Grant for Empowerment (SAGE), and National Special Grants for Persons with Disabilities, among others. 

He added that the national identification cards will contribute to their access to justice because the IDs will be telling their exact ages.

Countrywide, only 0.5% of the PWDs have national IDs while 95% do not have, according to Omara.

In a statistics shared by Omara, Lira city and Lira district have a total of 60,707 PWDs: 52% are females and 38% males.  

The statistic is showing that 58% are are polio survivors while 22% have blindness and 20% are persons living with other different disabilities. 

lira
Some of the PWDs at the registration venue. Photo by Acipa Doreen/TND News.

The polio survivors are mostly persons above 50 years of age, he revealed, adding that blindness cases are highly increasing among young people as a result of poor eating habits. 

He expressed his disappointment towards negative attitude towards persons with disabilities and the communication gaps which he said is also still a big challenge.

“Caretakers of persons with disabilities and the general public have to give us all the necessary support to register for IDs from their different sub-counties,” he appealed.

Meanwhile, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS 2016) report, 12.4% of the Ugandan population lives with some form of disability.

Approximately, 4.5 million Ugandans are PWDs, hence a development concern.

 

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