A section of People with disabilities (PWDs) in Kabale municipality on Thursday staged a peaceful demonstration accusing authorities of neglecting them.
The PWDs who reside in their culture and community development building in Kikungiri, Kabale municipality accuse government of abandoning them in a structure that is in an appalling state.
The centre was built during the Milton Obote led regime to act as a resource center for Ndorwa County. However, it was later turned into a rehabilitation center for lepers and PWDs who were rescued from Bwama Island on Lake Bunyonyi where they had been confined in 1994.
The PWDs at this center train in production of crafts and carpentry to raise some income for their survival. However, the PWDs claim that despite the fact that, the center is used to impart vocational skills to their members, it has not received any support from any government office.
Mary Tindibasa, a 58 year old chairperson of the PWDS living at that center said that she finds it hard to rejoice with her 3 children at this place due to the poor standards of living they are in.
“Our centre leaks; it has the worst latrines and lacks water, electricity. The state of life we have here makes us feel like we are not Ugandans,” said Tindibasa.
Tindibaasa said that when they arrived at the facility, it had running water, toilet, Kitchen and electricity supply. She said that during that time, trainers were hired by the gender ministry but the center has now turned into a shelter for homeless PWDs.
According to Tindibaasa, they have not received any training over the last ten years and they are surviving on the skills passed to them earlier.
Glorious Nagaba, another PWD at the center described life at the center as complicated because they survive on a God’s mercy and find it hard to fix a meal.
She explains that during their stay at Bwama Island on Lake Bunyonyi government used to provide them with food, which is no longer the case. “We live by grace and apparently everyone struggles to have their only way.
Most of us find it hard to have a meal a day,” she said. Ann Kobusingye, the PWD LCV councilor said that the hall that was used for training the PWDS is now in ruins.
“We are living in danger because any time this house may collapse and it will be shocking when we wake up to such sad news,” said Kobusingye.
The angry PWDS moved from their home towards the district headquarters where they hoped to deliver a petition to the Resident District Commissioner but they were intercepted by Geofrey Kaheebwa, the Kabale District Police Commander at ahakempu along the Kabale-Katuna.