Mutare public toilets deplorable and not disability-friendly

by Tinashe Muzama

The City of Mutare was designed to cater for everyone but it seems as if the city was not designed for the elderly or for those with some kind of disability. At present, more than 25% of the world population is made up of people of advanced age and/or with some type of disability. More than half of this group lives in cities.

People with mobility, sensory or cognitive problems must be able to access and use the bathroom without any type of problem or impediment. To this end, it is necessary that certain requirements regarding the space and the location of those objects to be used are met.

A classic example is that of public toilets opposite the Government complex, Chidzere bar, Meikles Park and Pick n Pay car park.

The toilets are near a Mshika shika rank for people going to uptown suburbs such as Palmerstone, Morningside, Darlington and Forbes border post.

The air around the toilets reeks of urine.

So putrid is the smell that shoppers who used to walk on nearby pavements have created new crossing points.

Moving forward, in the public toilets, it is very necessary to put wheelchair ramps and install two grab bars with a minimum length of 70cm, they must be located at a height of between 70-75 cm from the floor and be 65-70cm apart. The bar to be installed on the side where the user transfers from the wheelchair to the toilet seat should be a folding grab bar. If the toilet has a bilateral transfer space (from both sides), the two bars will be of the folding type.

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights […] without any distinction of any kind of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic position, birth or any other condition”

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