The founding of UNAPD

On 6th June 1998, PWPDs guided by Hon. James Mwandha and the then Minister of State in charge of Persons with Disabilities and Elderly, Hon. Florence Nayiga Sekabira, held a meeting at COMBRA, and formed Uganda National Action on Physical Disabilities (UNAPD).

But soon after UNAPD’s formation, it was learnt that a similar organisation, Uganda National Association of People with Physical Disabilities (UNAPPD), had been formed earlier in 1996 with similar objectives. Members of UNAPPD were opposed to the formation of UNAPD, and felt that it was a duplication of their organisation.

As an intervention, NUDIPU, the umbrella body for Persons with Disabilities in Uganda, convened members of UNAPPD, UNAPD and representatives from Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs), to sort out the anomaly.

In the meeting held in Mbarara, it was decided that a new organisation be established to replace the two. A task force was elected to work out the modalities for forming a third organisation of PWPDs. The first two organisations would then be dissolved.


UNAPPD and UNAPD members were not satisfied with the decision of the Mbarara meeting, and instead opted for a merger. They reasoned that it was not right to bury their Mission, Vision and their initial input into the formation of the two organisations.

On the 9th December 1999, the two organisations formerly agreed to merge, signed a declaration and adopted Uganda National Action on Physical Disability (UNAPD) as the official name. The merging brought the two Boards of Directors into one enlarged Board of 19 members.

After the merger, UNAPD faced many challenges but were eventually overcome. Now, UNAPD is recognised nationally as a representative of PWPDs and has 40 district member associations.