Anambra State governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, Friday, assured the people that his administration would ensure that all the Public buildings and other infrastructure are accessible by disability community.
According to the governor, this include new and old existing infrastructure, even as those seeking for building approvals would equally be made to provide accessible features accessible for all the categories of people in them before it could be granted.
The Chairman, Anambra State Physical Planning Board (ANSPPB), Barr Chike Maduekwe disclosed this when receiving members of the Board of the State Disability Rights Commission (ANSDRC) who were in his office at Amawbia, Awka South LGA for a courtesy call.
Maduekwe, who noted that Soludo’s administration was committed to building a liveable, prosperous and megacity for all irrespective of age, sex or impairment, adding that no one is more important than others in the society.
“Your visit today is an eye opener, and we will run with it, because there are a whole lot of things we need to begin to do differently in terms of how infrastructures are built in the state.
“Mr Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo has always maintained his vision of building a liveable and prosperous smart mega city. This homeland should be one that every member of the society must be able to access and benefit from, irrespective of social status, physical disability and otherwise.
“This we need to do immediately to ensure inclusivity. The wonderful work the Commission has done through its leadership headed by Barr Ezewuzie, is quite amazing and I am not surprised at what the Commission has been able to accomplish for persons with disabilities.
“We will work together and I know that when the governor sees the need we are bringing to the fore, he will approve them. These are things that will improve the quality of life of Anambra people. So your visit here is an act of God and we will act accordingly,” he added.
Earlier, the Chairman, Anambra State Disability Rights Commission (ANSDRC), Barr. Chukwuka Ezewuzie, who led the delegation, explained that the advocacy visit was part of their efforts to sensitise ministries and agencies on operation and provisions of Anambra State Disability Rights Law 2018.
The disability rights law, it was learnt, was passed and assented to law by the immediate past administration of Willie Obiano, as a domestication of International best practices contained in United Nations charter for people with disabilities (PWDs).
Ezewwuzie, who said the commission was ready to partner or work with any individual, group, ministries or palastals to ensure that their public buildings comply to the law wether it is government owned or rented or used so far it is a public building serving public purposes.
He added that there was also need for ministry of works to ensure that roads provide signs that can alert the visual impaired, blind, and deaf communities accordingly when passing traffic, as well as others.
The categories of public institutions that must comply to the law, according to Ezewuzie, included offices, conference halls, hotels, churches, parastatals, among others.
“Subsection 8 of Section 23 of the Disability Rights Law talks about accessibility features which public buildings designs must possess before they are approved.
“The Interpretation Clause of the State Disability Rights Law explains that public buildings are buildings owned or used by government or made available for public use, such as shopping malls, residential buildings, churches, mosques, among others.
“What we are looking at is for every building design to have a Certificate of no Objection, CNB, which simply means that all requirements in the code are met in terms of accessibility features. If the design conforms with subsection 5. We are confident that your Board will ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the Code and we will be ready to provide guidance when needed” he added.
In their various presentations, the Chief Media Officer for the Disability Commission, Miss Chidinma Ajemba, a sign language interpreter with the Commission and other emphasized the point on other infrastructure used by the public including roads, bridges and many others to be enabled in a way that persons with one form of disability of another can access and use them.