By Lawrence Nwimo
The disabilities community in Anambra state has ranked Anambra International Cargo/ Passenger Airport, first among equals in disabilities accessibility features.
The group made this known on Saturday during a preview accessibility features visit to the airport located in Umueri in Anambra East local government area of the state.
They commended the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano for putting up structures and facilities at the airport to suit the needs of persons with disabilities in the state.
Director, Anambra Disabilities Rights Commission, Barr. Chuks Ezewuzie, who said he had visited over 50 airports around the globe, stated that Anambra cargo and passenger airport remained the frontrunners among the comity of airports with disabilities accessibility features.
According to him, part of the accessibility features are the wheelchair ramps and other facilities both for the deaf and the blind. He said they were strategically constructed at every entrance of the airport facilities to facilitate easy use of the airport by persons with disabilities.
“Every accessibility requirements and standards were made in accordance with the United Nation’s convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and in compliance with the Anambra State Disabilities Rights law.
“Persons with disabilities visited the airport today to see for themselves, what the governor has done because the Governor has the welfare of persons living with disabilities at heart while building the airport.
“Governor Obiano does not do anything without, first, thinking about people living with disabilities. That is why he appointed one of us as a member of the airport committee to ensure that the terminal buildings have the accessibility standard required of all airports around the world”, he said.
Ezewuzie, a special adviser to the governor on disabilities matters, noted that the disabilities rights commission, recently established by the state government, would further help in implementing the provisions of the disabilities rights law and ensure that rights of the members in the state are protected.
Similarly, Chairman, Joint National Association of Persons Living with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Anambra State chapter, Comrade Ugochukwu Okeke, extolled the Governor for accommodating the interest of people with disabilities while erecting the airport.
He restated that the disabilities community, by the visit, confirmed the standard of the airport and the facilities built to help members of the disabilities community, in the state, have a hitch-free air travel.
Earlier, the Anambra State Commissioner for works, Engr. Marcel Ifejiofor, posited that needs of people with disabilities were taken into consideration by the Governor from the conception of the airport design to its full completion.
The commissioner who expressed gratitude at the support the group gives to the government, reassured that the airport management has set aside policies to give special attention to persons with disabilities in the state.
Tour around the departure and arrival lounge, various ramps and other disabilities-friendly facilities formed the high point of the visit.