National Council Lauds KMFRI Effort in Mainstreaming Disability Issues
Dr. Melckzedeck K. Osore
Inspection of the PWD rest room at KMFRI Mombasa Centre by NCPWD Auditors Ms Julliet Ruwa (seated 2nd Right) and Mr. George Kasera (with crutches). Also present are members of KMFRI Disability Mainstreaming Committee (L-R) Judy Nyamvullah, Gabriel Gitonga, Leonorah Achieng’ and Jairus Odero.
On 30th October, 2019 officers from the National Council for People with Disability (NCPWD) conducted a scheduled accessibility audit of KMFRI premises to access usability of its facilities by people with disabilities (PWD). The audit was a follow up of recommendations proposed by the Council officials during their previous visit to KMFRI in June, 2019.
As part of Performance Contracting targets and, most importantly, an obligation to its staff and visitors who have various disabilities, KMFRI has gone the extra mile to ensure that most facilities in its premise are easily accessible and safe for use by PWDs. In compliance with Sections 21 through 24 of the PWD Act no. 14 of 2003, all Government agencies are required to allocate resources to secure accessibility rights for PWDs.
During the audit, one area where the Council officials hailed KMFRI was in revamping basic accessibility in the premises of the Headquarters and Mombasa Research Centre. Outcome of the audit indicated that KMFRI has fully complied with all the medium term recommendations proposed in June 2019 by the Council officials. These include introduction of a well equipped service room with basic facilities of a wheelchair and crutches, clean and upgraded restrooms well equipped with necessary facilities, introduction of parking areas appropriately designated for PWD, improved access to the main auditorium, placement of non-slip ramps suitable for wheelchair in various locations, introduction of Braille and on-going training on sign language for staff at the Reception area.
The Council officials commended the Institute’s Disability Mainstreaming Committee and urged that the achievement is emulated at the other KMFRI stations and centres nationwide. This achievement contributes to a continuous process of propelling KMFRI beyond being a Centre of Excellence in aquatic research to also become the reference agency for bench marking disability mainstreaming in both public and private institutions nationally and regionally.