Gender Ministry take steps to ensure public structures are disability friendly
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Otiko Afisah Djaba has disclosed that plans are far advanced to ensure public buildings in the country are accessible for Persons with Disability (PwDs).
Answering a question posed to her by the MP for Asawase, Mubarak Muntaka on the floor of Parliament on Friday about steps taken by her Ministry to ensure that the West African Examination Council (WAEC) building in Kumasi is Disability friendly.
Hon. Djaba stated “Mr Speaker, the WAEC Centre in Kumasi was commissioned in July 1993 at a time disability issues were not on the front burner, however, the Ministry in its efforts has ensured that the WAEC office locates the examination Hall and the office of the Controller on the ground floor for easy access by Persons with Disabilities”.
The Minister for Gender said the officials at WAEC have also indicated that portions at the entrance where there is elevation of 2-3 inches onto the veranda will be levelled to make it more accessible.
Hon. Otiko said the Ministry launched the Ghana Accessibility Standard for the built environment in 2015 to ensure universal accessibility.
She revealed all relevant institutions like Ministries of Works and Housing, Roads, Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority are being engaged to enforce the inclusion provisions in Ghana’s building regulations so that they become requirements in construction.
Hon. Otiko Djaba stated the WAEC office and other public institutions will be provided with Ghana Accessibility Standard for the built environment to guide the redesign of existing buildings and new ones under construction. This, she noted, will ease the burden on Persons with Disability having access to all public services without hindrance.
The Minister also added that, she will do her best to ensure buildings are disability friendly by liaising with the appropriate authorities, again “my Ministry will also monitor the situation at the WAEC Centre in Kumasi to ensure that the entrance work is done in the shortest possible time, notwithstanding, the ministry is collaborating with key institutions to ensure that other provision in the Standard are implemented”.
The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu on his part lauded the Hon. Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisah Djaba for always availing herself in parliament to address questions posed to her.