Accessibility Improvement Project (2019 – 2020)

The National Coalition Project is for a continuation of UNAPD and coalition partner’s efforts on adoption and enforcement of the Act and Bye laws and building the social movement in Rwanda in line with article 9 of UNCRPD (Accessibility).

Our National Coalition Project is to build partnerships with Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA), Makerere University, Uganda Martyrs University and Mukono Action on Physical Disability to effectively work with identified stakeholders relevant in legal enforcement to operationalize the Building Control Act 2013 and its National Building Codes/Regulations and spread the social movement in Rwanda in line with Accessibility Standards. Such stakeholders include; Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), Uganda Law Society (ULS), and Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC)

The activities of the previous work of the coalition (2017-2018) has been aimed at advocating for the implementation of the Building Control Act 2013 and specifically by advocating for accessibility standards to be part of the National Building Codes/Regulations. This has been achieved by completion of the regulations inclusive of accessibility standards and the commencement of the Act by the Ministry of Works and Transport. After the completion of the National Building Codes/Regulations of the Building Control Act, was followed by the commencement of the Building Control Act by Ministry of Works in April, 2018. This therefore calls for efforts by the national coalition towards enforcement for implementation of the National Building Codes, but most specifically adoption of the Accessibility indicators of the National Building Codes by the construction industry. This will lead to an improved accessible physical environment for PWDs in line with article 9 of CRPD and SDG11.

The spread of the accessibility advocacy social movement across the Ugandan Border to Rwanda is one strategy of national coalition to move beyond the box and share the success stories, best practices and strategies to Rwanda in an effort of building the social movement on accessibility in East African Region. Therefore, the interventions/activities are designed to achieve the set objectives in these two dimensions and explained as below;

The national coalition which will be composed of KCCA, Makerere University, Uganda Martyrs University(Nkozi), Mukono Action on Physical Disability and UNAPD will build on the on-going work of the 2017-2018 National Coalition using several strategic interventions such as: (i) Engagement through an MOU to jointly agree on key resolutions/responsibilities between the members towards the promotion of accessibility compliance in Kampala City (M.O.U- review, analysis/audit of building plans, advice constructors, monitoring of on-going construction activities, enforcement mechanisms)(ii) the coalition will also work with human rights based agencies UHRC, EOC, ULS, and PILAC to jointly draw strategies on the enforcement mechanism of accessibility provisions in the Building Control Act 2013 in Uganda, (iii) additionally will strengthen the on-going work at Makerere University(department of Architecture and Physical Planning) on the disability friendly training curriculum for Architects and replication of the same to Uganda Martyrs Nkozi University, (iv) engage in a public interest litigation to test the law on accessibility in a combined effort with EOC, UHRC, PILAC, (v) work with Ministry of Works and Transport and KCCA to hold an accessibility forum to bring together the different players in this field (legal, practitioners, construction companies, government) to practically understand the linkages between disability, accessibility, legal and practice.

The coalition will further build partnerships with stakeholders such as Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), Uganda Law Society (ULS), and Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC) to use their expertise to support for adoption and enforcement of accessibility laws/practices in the community, Build legal capacity of the existing National Accessibility Audit Committee(NAAC) and Mukono Accessibility Audit committee to enhance accessibility laws dissemination and understanding for effective adoption and enforcement

Similarly the partners will support NAAC to conduct accessibility auditing of physical infrastructure in Kampala to identify in-accessible infrastructure and write a report be shared with National Building Review Board(hosted by Ministry of Works and Transport), and human rights based agencies for action, support the established accessibility audit committee in Mukono district to conduct audits, write reports for compliance and shared with district plan approving committee/district building committees(new structure by Building Control Act 2013) for action, support the district accessibility audit committees to hold engagement meetings with district plan approval committees to review the building plans and agree on actions for compliance of constructors to accessibility provisions, and build the capacity of the local government approving committees (Mukono and Kampala) of building plans on the existing accessibility provisions, accessibility indicators and relevance for inclusion in plans before approval.

Finally, in the effort of going global and share expertise on accessibility advocacy, the coalition wants to build on the current work by initiating connections with Rwanda based organization of the physically handicapped (Association Générale des Handicapés du Rwanda (AGHR) for an open discussions on the possibilities of jointly launch an accessibility advocacy campaign in East Africa, create an engagement forum between Makerere University(department of Architecture and Physical Planning) and University of Rwanda(Department of Architecture) to share experience on the relevance of an Inclusive training curriculum for architects in order not to leave no one behind, initiate the strategies of developing a regional Physical Accessibility Protocol which can kick start the regional efforts of accessibility integration in the region, organize a meetings with the relevant Ministry in charge of Infrastructure Development and Ministry in Charge of Gender and Disability in Rwanda to discuss the strategies of sustained inclusion of accessibility indicators in the on-going construction of the country, convening a regional meeting in Kampala to bring together the key DPOs, and other relevant players in the field of accessibility/inclusive designs together with Uganda counterparts to share experiences, engage in media campaign at East African level to discuss the disability and Accessibility concerns/experiences in Rwanda and Uganda. As seen above, the efforts builds on the current work of the coalition.