Nakuru Investors urged to provide lifts, ramps, and escalators to ease vertical mobility for PwDs
By Nancy Naholi
People Living with Disabilities (PWDs) continue to face a lot of inconvenience in reaching upper levels of multistorey buildings as they have to make do with climbing staircases if no other means exist.
Shoppers and other commercial space users equally rue that it is difficult to reach display places on upper floors as they have to climb staircases with their luggage.
As a result, the County Government of Nakuru has continued to make every effort to operationalize and enforce the requirements of key planning parameters to ensure the comfort of the citizens is enhanced.
In 2018 and 2019, the county government gazetted an urban enforcement notice that was intended to guide property owners and other urban users on critical land-use improvement measures contained in the said legal frameworks. Improvements highlighted in the urban notice included the painting of buildings, paving of walkways, waterproofing of buildings and use of registered professionals such as architects and structural engineers in the building process.
Property owners have been encouraged to continue implementing these land-use parameters for existing developments while the county enforces the same for new development applications received for approval.
In the recently held AAK Convention in Naivasha, H.E Governor Lee Kinyanjui, challenged the built environment professionals to take up their rightful role in helping Nakuru attain city status as well as in enhancing and improving the urban fabric.
This was echoed by the CECM for Land, Housing and Physical Planning Francis Mwangi.
“Professionals have played a critical role in improving the city fabric and we continue to see the property owner’s present modern building proposals for development application scrutiny. For instance, we look forward to the opening of new malls in the future that will enhance urban space and use”, Remarked Mr. Mwangi the CECM for the department responsible for urban development.
The department`s Chief Officer Judyleah Waihenya concurred citing the improvements in urban space use and efforts put in place to mainstream use for sectors of urban users particularly persons living with disabilities.
“We encourage the efforts property owners are making particularly here in Nakuru in PLWDs mainstreaming such as the provision of lifts, ramps, and escalators to ease vertical mobility for this sector of society. This is in keeping with our efforts in operationalizing the urban enforcement notice issued in 2018 and 2019. Equally and as we recognize the role of professionals in the built environment, we will continue to ensure new developments meet industry standards, “noted the chief officer
She added that every effort made to ease vertical movement in buildings will be of huge relief to the elderly and the physically challenged.
An escalator for instance is equipped with sensors and moves automatically when passengers reach it. Not only do they provide improved accessibility and safety for all users but they also enhance the value of buildings and quality of space.