Rwanda: Senators Push for Full Count of People With Disabilities

Senators are advocating for an expedited count and categorization of people with disabilities to ensure adequate support for their unique requirements. This call was made during the Senate’s plenary sitting on July 18, where they adopted the report presented by the Committee on Social Affairs and Human Rights.

The report focused on overseeing interventions aimed at improving education and healthcare for individuals with disabilities.

The Senate acknowledged the inclusion of people with disabilities aged 5 years and above in Rwanda’s 5th Population and Housing Census conducted in 2022. However, they identified a significant challenge: the census did not account for children under the age of five who have disabilities.

This omission is particularly concerning as it includes those who should be receiving nursery (pre-primary) education and specialized healthcare.

Senators discovered that accurate statistics on the number of people with disabilities, the categories (levels) of their disabilities, and the necessary support were lacking at the district level. This dearth of information impedes effective planning and hinders the development of appropriate solutions for individuals with disabilities.

“While presenting the aforementioned report to the plenary, Senator Cyprien Niyomugabo, Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Social Affairs and Human Rights, emphasized that unless a comprehensive study on people with disabilities, their categories of disabilities, and required support is conducted in districts, addressing their problems will remain challenging.”