Africa Jan 19, 2017
NAIROBI, KENYA: The National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) has announced plans to embark on a national crackdown against property developers flouting the accessibility code for persons with disabilities.
The Council, which is a state corporation mandated to facilitate a non-discriminatory environment for the country’s more than 6 million persons with disabilities has confirmed plans to ensure the full compliance of the national accessibility laws.
Speaking at Nakumatt NextGen Supermarket when he officiated over the re-launch of motorized shopping carts for persons with physical disabilities, NCPWD Chairman Dr. David ole Sankok said the crackdown will focus on public spaces including Shopping malls and retail outlets.
“The law dictates that Persons with disabilities are entitled to a barrier- free and disability-friendly environment to enable them access buildings, roads and other social amenities, assistive devices and other equipment to promote their mobility,” Dr. Sankok said, adding that, “we may very soon require all shopping malls and retail outlets in Kenya to ensure that they strictly comply with the provisions of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2003, particularly section 21, which covers Accessibility and Mobility requirements.”
On its part, Nakumatt Holdings has introduced a new fleet of motorized shopping carts to enhance the in-store experience for physically challenged persons.
As part of a strategic effort to enhance accessibility for physically challenged persons, Nakumatt has added a fleet of 15 electric powered shopping carts to be availed at some of its key branches across major towns in Kenya.
The new fleet will be available at Nakumatt Mega, Nakumatt Junction, Nakumatt Prestige, Nakumatt Westgate, Nakumatt Village, Nakumatt Nextgen, Nakumatt Galleria and Nakumatt TRM in Nairobi. Upcountry, the carts will also be available in Mombasa at Nakumatt Likoni and Nakumatt Nyali, at Kisumu’s Nakumatt City, Nakumatt Eldoret and Nakumatt Nakuru.
Nakumatt Holdings Head of Business Development, Mr. Neel Shah said the firm would continue to enhance the shopper experience within its stores for persons with physical disabilities.
Nakumatt, Shah confirmed is striving to ensure full compliance with the Accessibility Code at all its 64 branches across East Africa.
Besides the easy to use motorized shopping carts, Nakumatt, Shah disclosed has invested heavily in the integration of dedicated parking spaces, access ramps, in store travellators and wide body lifts to guarantee the comfort of persons with disabilities.
“We have made significant investments to ensure that we provide a non-discriminatory shopping environment and will continue to do more in our quest to enhance the shopping experience in our branches,” Shah said.
In Kenya, the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) Dr. Sankok said, has been actively championing for the integration of enforcement of the Persons with Disabilities legal provisions seeking to uphold the rights, rehabilitation and equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities in Kenya.
“The council is guided by the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2003 Section 21, that states; “Persons with disabilities are entitled to a barrier- free and disability-friendly environment to enable them to have access to buildings, roads and other social amenities, and assistive devices and other equipment to promote their mobility.” Dr. Sankok said.
With the new motorized shopping carts, physically challenged persons can enjoy their shopping moments unaided. The new shopping carts feature a large size-shopping basket with an electric powered steering wheel.