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By Joseph Malinga It might have been 140 years now since the lamogi strife broke out in Amuru district as the locals resisted the British colonial government, only to capitulate to the superior weaponry of the British governance. The ruminant spirits of the rebellion, however, appear to be steadily exploding once again.  

While the lamogi clan had resisted British government over ‘misrule’ that led to several death in 1911, this time, the strife is against abject poverty among Persons with disability. Globally, statics indicate that the people with disabilities experience effects of poverty more than their none-disabled counterparts.

 In our recent visit to Lamogi Sub County, Amuru district to assess the progress of the livelihood project NUDIPU is implementing, (with funding from Disabled Peoples organisation Denmark, DPOD) in the seven districts of Acholi sub region, we interacted with Jenifer Lapolo, a woman with physically disability. Although Lapolo, a resident of Guruguru village, is a PWD, she has cultivated a ‘lamogi spirit’ that is steadily but surely motivating her in the fight against poverty.

As a beneficiary of the project, Lapolo is a member of the Lamogi disabled persons group, which NUDIPU helped to form. The group received training on savings and credit management and group dynamics. With the skills received Lapolo is now able to wage a spirited war against poverty just as her ancestor’s waged war against the British rule. Although confined on a wheel chair, Lapolo a tailor is able to run her business she operates in Lamogi trading centre.

“The training has helped me run my business. I deal in local fabrics (kitenge). I sell rolls as well as saw clothes depending on individual interests. My business is shs 200,000. Apparently the business is not booming because it is a season when people are in the gardens,” said a mother of one.

According to Lapolo, she is beginning to see change in her life especially that she is now able to save for the future, something she says she used not to do. Her membership also allows her to borrow, which initially was not easy especially from the financial institutions. “I have so far borrowed shs 100,000 which I have already paid back,” she said.

Life, she says was initially very difficult before benefiting from the project, to an extent that she nearly lost hope. However, upon joining the group, she is now able to meet her basic needs. “This has given me hope and I now see a future ahead of me,” she adds.

One important thing she is happy about is that her husband Mr David Ojok, is supportive of her efforts. Whenever her business appears to run down, her husband, a farmer injects in the proceeds from his produce.

Lapolo meanwhile is concerned about her limited capital especially when she receives more order for clothes but lacks funds to purchase materials. Her business in most cases is lucrative during dry season. She is now optimistic that her life will surely change once her and her group members put in practice the skills received.

Whereas Lapolo is happy about skills received, failure to utilise them, would eventually accede them (PWDS) to the abject poverty just as their ancestors succumbed to the British rule.


© 2013 National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda, All right reserved