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The SHIVYAWATA federation of disabled people’s organisations says organisations across Africa can learn from the provision of facilities for people with reduced mobility on the Dar es Salaam – Morogoro standard gauge railway.
On October 30 the SHIVYAWATA board toured the 202 km first phase of the SGR project, which is now 94% complete, in order to inspect the facilities and provide feedback on possible enhancements.
Federation Chairman Ernest Kimaya said the group was satisfied that the infrastructure would cater to the needs of people with ‘various needs’. He congratulated Tanzania Railways Corp for the construction of stations that were ‘focused on all groups of people including those with disabilities.’
Kimaya said ‘many African countries and government and private institutions have something to learn from what TRC has done, especially in the involvement of people with disabilities in building infrastructure that is friendly to all groups’.
Nuru Awadhi, Chair of SHIVYAWATA’s Women & Children group, said ‘we have passed through large and small stations, they have met the needs of the disabled by 90%’. Musa Kabimba, Secretary General of the Tanzania Albinism Society, suggested the provision of interpreters and visual information to assist people with hearing impairments.
Abudulaziz Shambe, Secretary General of the Association of Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries, said other countries should study the Tanzanian project, which had been developed with the participation of people with disabilities. He had expected to criticise the project but ‘we have not seen any flaws’.
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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