Empower people with disabilities with financial knowledge, says PS

09Nov 2019
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Empower people with disabilities with financial knowledge, says PS

THE Permanent Secretary in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments), Joseph Nyamuhanga has directed district executive directors to come up with programmes to provide financial education to people with disabilities.

Joseph Nyamuhanga

He said despite the government programme to set funds aside for people with disabilities, youth and women, most people with disabilities do not have knowledge on tapping such opportunity, thus a lot of money remains unspent.

Speaking at a panel discussion during the ongoing CSOs Week 2019, he stated that one of the challenges facing people with disabilities is access to the empowerment fund as some of them do not have entrepreneurial skills.

 The session of the meeting organized by the Tanzania Federation of Disabled People's Organizations (SHIVYAWATA) and Oxfam was debating the current policy on the issue.

The panel examined implementation of the government policy that requires district councils to set aside 10 percent of own source revenue for youth, women and people with disabilities.

"I have realized that most people with disabilities do not access the loans provided as per government directives on special groups because they lack the knowledge and skills," he said.

 It is quite sad that many of them do not go for the money, thus the need for district councils through local authorities to plan how to empower them with knowledge that can help them access the support, he emphasized.

The PS noted that the ten percent portion of revenue allocated by district councils is a by-law and every district council in the country ought to comply with it, failure to which leaders in any council failing to do so will face disciplinary procedures.

In the 2018/19 financial year, district councils set aside a total of Sh 54.08 billion for groups of youth, women and people with disability but until 30th June, 2019 about Sh 42.06bn had been disbursed in loans.

Out of this group, people with disabilities got Sh 3.87 billion, much smaller than Sh 23.18 billion for women and Sh 15.01 for youth.

The government has set aside Sh 66.22 billion in the 2019/2020 whereby women and youth are allocated Sh 24.9 billion and people with disabilities Sh 12.4 billion.

Speaking at the same debate, SHIVYAWATA Secretary, Jonas Lubago also said that many people with disabilities do not have knowledge on finances, especially borrowing money to start income generating activities.

"It is sad that some of us are not aware that there is such empowerment fund set by the government" he said, adding that there is need for more public education on this.

He appealed to the government to consider allowing individual people to borrow the money unlike the current situation where the money is just given to groups of people.

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