Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Why are the disabled forgotten in Ghana?

The above video makes me sad and disappointed. It sums up, though, in my opinion Ghana's development process - something to be proud of, but yet something missing vital features. Ghana on the surface looks to be firmly on the path to becoming a stronger country, yet there are oversights that are only honoured by lip-service rather than tangible action.

How can a mayor, who brought his children up ion the USA and would have seen numerous examples of accessibility sanction the building of pavements that cannot be easily accessible by wheelchair users and subsequently blind people and many others. 

This isn't a new concern of mine. I realised this to be a problem on my last visit to Ghana in September 2010. I saw the building of the Accra-Nsawam road through Ofankor (barrier) and just thought every day that I drove down it "that pavement is just too high". At the time I was thinking mainly about my grandmother as she gets older, stairs and steps are decreasingly a feat I would want her to suffer. I've designed my new house (which we will hopefully begin building by the end of the year) so that my grandmother would have step free access from her room to her shower to the kitchen and the garage. It's not difficult to do so and I'm not even a trained architect. Surely the Accra Metropolitan Authority with all the 'experts' I expect they are paying, could consider, the old and disabled in town planning. 

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