MERU BUILDINGS LACK RAMPS

Disabled persons want user-friendly buildings

Chairman says many public offices , services and projects unavailable.

In Summary

• 15% of Meru county population disabled.

• Chairman calls for waiving levies in public medical facilities, hiring sign language interpreters.

Persons living with disability procession during the unveiling of a disability friendly public service vehicle
Persons living with disability procession during the unveiling of a disability friendly public service vehicle
Image: NJERI MBUGUA

People Living With Disability in Meru county have said many public offices and commercial buildings are inaccessible to them.

Chairman of PLWD Meru County Joseph Gitonga said many public offices were constructed without ramps, hence, a many physically disabled persons could not access the offices for essential services.

“We have to use friends and relatives to assist us when in need of a service in most offices,” he said.

Even private developers ignore the needs of PLWD when building multi-story buildings.

Gitonga said that PLWDs constituted 15 per cent of the Meru county population, so the government should ensure public offices are constructed to be accessible to everyone.

He said that nine years after promulgation of the 2010Constitution, the rights of the persons living with disability were yet to be achieved.

“The planning officers should ensure that all public and commercial buildings have ramps,” Gitonga said.

He said that lack of access to many public offices means that many persons living with a disability are lagging behind in many development projects.

Gitonga urged the county government to employ sign language interpreters to help the hearing-impaired.

He called on the county to waive all medical levies charged persons living with disability in public health facilities.

"The majority of us earn nothing or very little to meet our medical expenses and we are forced to pay assessment fees, which many cannot afford," the chairman said.

(Edited by V. Graham)