Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Chairman, Anambra State Physical Planning Board (ANSPPB), Barr Chike Maduekwe, has restated government commitment to ensuring that all public buildings and other infrastructure in the State adhered strictly to provisions of the Anambra State Disability Rights Law.
Maduekwe, a Lawyer, stated this while hosting Board members of State Disability Rights Commission (ANSDRC) led by the Chairman, Barr. Chukwuka Ezewuzie in his office at Amawbia, Awka South Local Government Area.
Maduekwe described the visit as divine and eye opener, assuring the team of government partnership to ensure lot of things were done differently under his watch, especially in terms of infrastructure and building construction.
He said, “The present administration is committed to building a liveable, prosperous mega city for everyone irrespective of age, sex, class or impairment. No one is more important than others.
“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.
“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 living 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.”
Earlier, leader of the delegation, Barr. Ezewuzie said 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 visit is to intimate ANSPPB on the need to factor in the disability community while constructing buildings and facilities including offices, conference halls, parastatals, bridges, sports facilities, hotels, schools, Churches as well as roads to make them accessible to people living with disabilities.
“The disability rights law, 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 living with disabilities (PWDs),” he said.
Ezewuzie reiterated his commission’s readiness to partner with any individual, group, ministries or palastals to ensure public buildings complied with the law whether owned or rented by government serving public purposes.
He further stressed the need for Ministry of Works to ensure that road constructions also abide by the rules by providing signs that can assist or alert the visual impaired, blind, and deaf communities accordingly, including traffic lights, crossings, among others.
“We’re ready to partner with relevant authorities and bodies to ensure compliance with the law and approvals are not given to building plans that do not comply or conform with the law.
“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.