Thirty five year old Fazira Kawuma, is blind and cannot read what is displayed
within banking halls in order to access her money. She always needs a helper to
assist her, but faces challenges at banks because the helpers are not readily
Kawuma, and many other persons with disabilities (PWD’s) face various
challenges at banking institutions in their endeavor to access services.
Among these include; lack of specialized persons and equipment to help them
access and understand the environment they are in, denial by persons giving financial
and credits services at Banks, but also the automated teller machines (ATM’s) and
counters are built for the able persons. This exposes PWD’s privacy issues,
denial of access to financial services and discrimination.
Noah Muwanika, a PWD who walks with the help of clutches cannot access the ATM’s
alone. He cannot stand alone, not even standing in the banking hall
queues for hours.
Muwanika, says many times he is neglected, denied access to the banking
facilities just because the people at the banking institutions cannot
understand his status.
\\ Cue in “Banks are not…”
Cue out “…both of them.”//
Edson Ngirabakunzi, Chief Executive Officer National Union of Disabled Persons
of Uganda (NUDIPU) calls on financial institutions to make their decision to
provide financial services to persons with disabilities (PWD), on the needs and
kinds of products and services. These can be obtained through specialized firms
if they are not readily available.
He says the required internal financial institutional staff capabilities and
transaction processes should deliver the needed products efficiently without discriminating
\\ Cue in “there are also…
Cue out “…are not bankable.”//
But Patricia Amito, Head of Communications at Uganda Bankers Association - UBA
says together with individual financial banking institutions, they are engaging
with PWD’s to understand their challenges in order to find solutions. She says
some individual financial banking institutions have taken on PWD’s to partner with
them in order to ease the challenging situation, by offering specialized loan
rates and flexible payment terms.
According to NUDIPU, there are 5 million (13%) persons living with
disabilities in Uganda, with 7.9% being male, and 9.1% are female between the age of 18
to 30, while 26% are male, and 34% female between the ages of 31 to 64.