Disabled people want ramps in all public buildings

Persons with physical challenges have demanded for the construction industry in the country to consider adding ramps as a permanent feature in all public buildings for easy accessibility.

Ms Janet Mwansa of Kanyama compound complained that most disabled people in the country had problems accessing public buildings like the passport offices and some police stations where they were restricted to reach the top floors.

Ms Mwansa said despite various concerns expressed over the type of existing buildings, there was nothing being done about creating access ramps to accommodate persons with physical challenges.

“There should be a rule to guide construction companies to include access ramps in all the new buildings under construction and maybe there should be a deadline for Government buildings to upgrade their facilities to include facilities that accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility equipment used by people with physical disabilities,” she said.

Ms Mwansa told the Daily Nation that some newly constructed shopping malls have complied with the international standards of including ramps in their construction plans, but wondered why Government buildings have maintained the old plans.

She said disabled people needed passports too and also access to security facilities like police stations and the difficulty of accessing such facilities should be condemned because it infringed on their basic rights of association.

Several disability organisations have complained about lack of easy access to public facilities including police stations and some public buildings like markets and shopping malls which lacked easy accessibility for differently abled people.

Zambia is a signatory to various UN human rights charters including the recognition and appreciation of persons with various disabilities and improving their mobility remains one of the greatest challenges in public places.


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