Uganda: NIRA Moves to Address Concerns of PWDs in Mass Enrollment for National IDs

The National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) has held an engagement meeting with organizations and leaders directly involved in serving people with disabilities (PWDs).

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and promote the inclusion of PWDs in NIRA’s services, particularly in the upcoming mass enrollment exercise and renewal of national IDs in the country.

Speaking during the meeting Rosemary Kisembo, the NIRA Executive Director reiterated that the upcoming exercise for national ID renewal and mass enrollment registration would impact everyone, regardless of disability or age.

She emphasized that NIRA’s commitment to inclusivity is not merely a favor but a constitutional right enshrined in Article 21 of Uganda’s constitution which promotes equality, freedom from discrimination, and equal protection under the law for all citizens.

Kisembo noted that NIRA is making deliberate efforts to improve service delivery during the exercise, arguing that it’s one of the reasons the institution is conducting extensive stakeholder engagements to ensure inclusivity.

The 2016 UBOS demographic survey puts 12.4% of Uganda’s population to be living with some form of disability.

To this, officials said NIRA intends to incorporate 12.4% of PWDs to form part of the teams during mass enrollment, from national, regional district till parish level, reflecting their commitment to representation and inclusivity.

These say that to create a conducive and inclusive registration environment for PWDs, NIRA will adopt a comprehensive approach.

The enrollment and birth registration forms will include categories of disabilities outlined in schedule 3 of the persons, and the training manual for enrollment officers will cover the needs of PWDs and provide guidance on supporting them effectively.

Additionally, mobile registration units will be available for PWDs, special service centers/registration kits will be designated at every district, and service lines for PWDs will be numbered accordingly. NIRA will also implement special accessibility measures at the enrollment centers.

During the mass enrollment exercise, specific areas marked as “Zone A” will be reserved for PWDs, expectant mothers, the elderly, and children.

NIRA additionally plans to utilize the government’s concept of the creation of one-stop centers, to ensure that PWDs receive dedicated support and services from such centers, while the physically able individuals visit the already existing registration centers.