Switch headers Switch to TIGweb.org

Are you an TIG Member?
Click here to switch to TIGweb.org

HomeHomeExpress YourselfPanoramaGoverments in Africa and the Disabled
a TakingITGlobal online publication

(Advanced Search)

Panorama Home
Issue Archive
Current Issue
Next Issue
Featured Writer
TIG Magazine
Short Story
My Content

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Goverments in Africa and the Disabled Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Baijuka Elvis Rufus, Uganda May 23, 2006
Human Rights , Green Spaces   Opinions


Goverments in Africa and the Disabled Walking along the streets of Kampala it is not a rare sight to see disabled people lying on the walkways and holding their hands up, begging for something to eat. In this disabled state, the message you can read in their eyes is, "I do not like to beg or to shame you, if i could, i would be working for a living."

Just like many governments in Africa, the government in Uganda has not done enough to help disabled people. The disabled have been neglected and if there is any help whatsoever, it comes from foreign organisations through NGOs. This help is strategically limited to a few areas. Many disabled people in Uganda are on the streets begging. Come rain or sun, they sit in one spot and it is very surprising that they survive, given the environment of dust and unhealthy walkways in which they make their homes.

Most of these beggars are cripples and leprosy victims. Some of them are coerced into begging because they have lost their homes to the war in the North (Uganda), from where they escaped into the City (Kampala) to look for a better living, one which they sadly discover is worse than what they were running away from. It baffles me that such people are treated with indifference by the government and yet it is the duty of any government in Africa to take care of its people. Let's face the truth, no one would ever wish to be a beggar and live a life of dirt and scorn. It is up to the governments in Africa and Uganda in particular to set up a program that should help these people. Most of the beggars in cities like Kampala are cripples. They have no where to turn and are not able to do any job, manual or other. They have young ones with them on the streets who will grow up and will not have a decent education because of the kind of life they are used to. The young kids should be taken care of before they are psychologically destroyed. most of these kids are between the ages of four to fifteen. Some have turned into pick pocketters and worse. And this is the future we are looking forward to?

Other governments in Africa are no different. It is not a rare thing to see cripples reduced to begging on television documentaries about Africa. These cripples also face an imminent fear of being discriminated against. To some extent their state of life justifies this since they are not taken care of and are very unhealthy. This we can not not blame the crippled turned beggars on the streets. The right place to point the blame is clearly the governments in Africa. Recently in a tourism workshop that I had the chance to attend, it was discovered that the many crippled beggars on the Kampala streets could be a big reason as to why tourists prefer staying up-country than in the big hotels in Kampala. The governments in Africa should note that taking care of the disabled is their business too. Disabled people need facilities, educational facilities like schools.

The governments in Africa need to run programs that give an insight into fairness among its citizens, beggars need not be looked down upon. The people in Africa need to know that being crippled is not a choice. It is time the disabled got a decent life. Surely the governments in Africa owe this to the leaders of tomorrow, the kids. It is these kids that are growing up on the streets with their parents. It is such kids that will be turned into the unwanted citizens of tomorrow. It is up to us to orchestrate our future. Unless the governments in Africa make it their business to help the disadvantaged people like the cripples and the beggars, Africa will for ever be doomed to remain a under-developed continent.



You must be logged in to add tags.

Writer Profile
Baijuka Elvis Rufus

I am Baijuka Elvis Rufus, a Masters student with Makerer University Business school in Uganda. I write a lot and I like to read issues that directly concern society. I believe the best way society today, most especially in Africa, is going to develop is by neglecting nothing and taking everything as seriously as as the situation demands.

Thomas Darko | Aug 8th, 2006
Elvis, thank you for what you have put in for our Africa leaders. What I, do not understand is that they have been organzing seminers on a lot, but we don't see the out come of it. In my country Ghana, we have such problems with the cripples and the blind. The deaf are doing well in learning(handicrafts). There is a disable bill in paliement yet to pass. I say, our leaders help the chellenge once. All what our leaders know is buying highly cost cars and putting up buildings for themsevles from the tax payers money. They do not care for us. Thomas Darko

You must be a TakingITGlobal member to post a comment. Sign up for free or login.