Lift our mobility burden - PWDs beg Soludo
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Lift our mobility burden – PWDs beg Soludo

A disability group has appealed to Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo and other good-spirited citizens for assistance towards lifting their burden of mobility in the state.

The group, under the aegis of National Association of Persons with Physical Disability (NAPWPD), Anambra State Chapter, regretted impact of financial constraints on their mobility.

Speaking at an event to commemorate 2023 International Wheelchair Day celebration at Amawbia, National President of NAPWPD, Comrade Rilwan Abdullahi Mohammed stressed urgent need for solutions to ensure their inclusion in daily life activities.

Mohammed represented by State Chairman, Comrade Ugochukwu Okeke canvassed for provision of buses with assistive devices like automatic ramps, saying such arrangements would help to curb neglect and heavy charges by transporters on their members with wheelchairs.

He said, “The exponential rise in transportation fares in the state has become a huge burden that is derailing active participation of our members in societal affairs, including attending works and other businesses to earn a living.

“The economic situation of things in the land has affected the price of assistive devices and mobility aids which are mostly imported into the country. Such devices are wheelchairs, crutches, surgical boots, and prosthetic arms or legs, among others.

“We call on government to intervene by subsidizing the cost or waiving import taxes on the technologies to improve our practical capabilities and ability to participate in societal activities.”

Mohammed further tasked the State government to ensure development of a minimum accessibility standard code for the implementation of disability laws regarding access to the environment.

He urged the governor to make budgetary provisions for the modification and retrofitting of all existing public spaces and facilities to comply with relevant accessibility standard codes and universal design. 

He also urged that the building control department of the government should not approve new buildings that failed to comply with the recommended standard.

According to NAPWPD boss, necessary adjustments to the environmental conditions are relevant to allow for the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in the life of the community.

“The basic purpose of International Wheelchair Day celebrated every March 1 is to raise global awareness about the critical importance of wheelchair accessibility and inclusivity in society. 

“It is also to provide support and recognition for individuals facing mobility challenges as well as promote and independence of persons with physical disabilities in the state.

“The day stands to honor and acknowledge the valuable contribution of organizations, caregivers, and communities that aid wheelchair users as well as to advocate for enhanced global access, striving for a more inclusive and accessible world,” he added.

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