Integrating the disabled in town planning
05 March 2012, 13:25
A former civic leader in Meru County has lauded the government for spearheading the Strategic Urban Development Plan for 2011-2030 that will promote service delivery in the fast growing Meru town.
The present Meru town lies on the plan made in 1974, calling for a review to meet emerging issues posed by an increase in population.
Addressing other stakeholders in the Digital Mapping and Preparation of Integrated Strategic Urban Development Plan for Meru Town on Friday, a former councillor Francis Kiruja said the government through the Office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Local Government had taken a giant step of ensuring the growth of the town.
Kiruja emphasized that since he left the council in 1974, no planning had been done despite many towering buildings being constructed to meet the town’s business demands.
Kiruja also expressed concern that no building was putting into consideration the physically challenged, since there was no provision for lifts or rafts.
“This town also lacks a parking for the wheel chairs for the disabled. This town has no planning for people with disability yet they are part of us and have their rights just like any other Kenyan,” he said.
Kiruja who serves as chairman of Local Authority Service Delivery Action Plan (LASDAP), Cathedral Ward, urged religious organizations to bring on board sign language experts to effectively cater for the needs of the deaf.
“Churches have forgotten that the handicapped are as important as any other member in the society,” he said.
He underscored the value of Meru town planning saying it will harness the agricultural potential in the region citing wastage of mangoes alleging it was contributing to the largest source of solid garbage around Gakoromone market.
He urged residents to effectively use the footpaths provided in the current plan to minimize accidents.
“There are footbridges and sidewalks created but people still struggle with vehicles on the highway posing a danger,” he said.
The new Meru Urban Plan contracted to Real Plan Consultants (RPC) started May last year and is expected to end after 18 months with yesterday reaching its vision validation stage.
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