The ability and rights of disabled people in Somalia and Somaliland is a hot topic at the minute, and September brought the news that the UN was encouraging authorities to adopt the relevant UN charter on the rights of disabled people in order to protect the rights of people in the region.
According to UN figures, 15% of people are disabled in Somaliland and Somalia.
As the wider region becomes more positive towards the rights of disabled people, it may well fall to homeowners to assess their own arrangements.
Making the average home accessibility-friendly helps the authorities to achieves their aims and creates a more equal society. This will ultimately be of benefit to all.
Somaliland is blessed with a young population; 70% of the population are under the age of 30. However, with average life expectancy increasing, this means there will be a large portion of the population occupying the senior years within 3 decades. Older age typically comes with greater accessibility needs and preparing the home now will enable Somaliland society to proactively manage this risk.
Adapting the home is straightforward and especially in low maintenance properties. Examples of simple but effective changes include levelling out surfaces to prevent trips and allow wheelchair movement; producing a ramp on the front of the home to allow
entrance; and removing hazards throughout the home that would be a risk to the visually impaired or those with mobility problems.
What’s the future outlook?
Disability rises as violence of all type rises. Somaliland has a positive outlook in this regard. Violent conflict has been avoided on a large scale since 1991 and domestic violence is now being tackled; January saw a progressive law concerning sexual assault passed and that is but one example of a more progressive society with regards to violence. Rates of disability are likely to be lower and, as medical facilities become more advanced, care should be better. Having accessible homes in place will be an excellent way to provide facilities for the senior generations and all people with mobility requirements.
Somaliland has a high proportion of people with disabilities and catering for their needs is a complex matter. Making homes accessible is a great first step and something every homeowner can do. Between this and progressive legislation, the country is in good stead to provide for those in need.