Watch: “Many forget the danger of obstructed pavements” – Oliver Scicluna

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Commissioner for Rights of Persons with Disability Oliver Scicluna said that many people tend to forget the perils that obstructed sidewalks tend to create.

Scicluna was being interviewed by Newsbook.com.mt about the ongoing infrastructural development all over the Maltese islands. He said that this could create new dangers for persons with a disability. He added that these obstructions could also leave a negative psychological effect on people with disabilities due to the lack of open spaces.

The Commissioner explained that it is a fact that new building development is connected with access to sidewalks. He added that while he will not get in the merits of the number of the number of buildings that are being erected, he will touch on the obstruction that construction sites create on the pavements and confirmed that his office receives a number of reports on the issue.

Judicial protest against hotel

Scicluna also touched on how in the past weeks he opened a judicial protest against a hotel because it obstructed all the sidewalks around it. He added that there are a large amount of similar cases and, while he understands that work has to progress, there needs to some respect shown to pedestrians.

He stated that many people do not realise that actions such as these create substantial danger to pedestrians, disabled or not. He stressed the need of serious enforcement on the issue.

Initiatives from village feast organisations

The Commissioner also said that there various village feast organisations were taking an initiative by making the village feasts more accessible to persons with disabilities.

Oliver Scicluna said that his office received a number of complaints in 2018 on the obstructed pavements and the need to have to walk in the middle of the road with the risk of being hit by a passing car.

He added that this year, his office is working with a number of organisations around Malta to tackle the issue and he also highlighted the fact that some of these organisations were the ones that approached the CPRD offices to find out how they can make the village festas more accessible.

“We want everyone to participate in village festas” – Agius Decelis

Parliamentary Secretary Anthony Agius Decelis said that more projects aimed at providing full accessibility to persons with disabilities to village festas are being implemented.

In 2019, there were 19 projects that were chosen by an independent board.

These projects are being funded by the Fond Festi Inkussivi.