HomeUncategorizedGroup Presents Study, Pushes Transportation Policies For Elderly Persons

Group Presents Study, Pushes Transportation Policies For Elderly Persons

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The non-profit organisation GreenLight Initiative on Wednesday passionately appealed to government at all levels in Nigeria to create policies that would aid the transportation needs of the elderly.

GreenLight Initiative Executive Director Simon Obi made the call in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT, at the presentation of research findings carried out on Mobility, Transport, and Ageing in Low and Middle-Income Countries.

The research had been conducted in Nigeria and Uganda and aimed at meeting the mobility needs of the elderly in selected cities.

Organised by GreenLight Initiative in collaboration with Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, South-East Nigeria and Makerere University, Uganda, the Volvo Research and Educational Foundation (VREF), and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) had supported the project.

Obi urged the governments to understand that there was need to start planning and incorporating decisions that would benefit and protect the lives of older persons on the roads.

The study, according to him, became imperative due to available evidence suggesting that not much work had been done regarding the mobility needs and safety of older persons.

“Lack of policies and lack of infrastructure are definitely affecting the older persons in Nigeria and we don’t have structures and infrastructure that supports their wellbeing in our cities.

“The government has to come in and do something urgently because this is an emergency situation. We are losing our older persons and we all will get old one day.

“This should compel urban developers and transport planners to put key and special consideration during designs.

“Inclusive mobility is an important initiative to directly consider in the initial stages of designing and developing mobility services.

“Our road designs, what we saw in these two countries indicated they do not support the right of the older persons.’

“So, governments need to invest in infrastructure, they also need to provide the enabling environment for these categories of persons to thrive to make a meaningful life,” Obi said.

Also speaking, a university researcher/lecturer, Dr. Chinebuli Uzondu, said that the research had explored the mobility needs of older persons in Nigeria and Uganda.

“The study made us to understand their travel patterns, unravelled their travel patterns, transport options available to them, needs and barriers to active mobility,” she said.

According to her, the research would address the issues around transport inequities and exclusions.

Similarly, Dr. Paul Mukwaya, a senior lecturer, Department of Geography, Geo-informatics and Climatic Sciences, Makerere University, Uganda, said that the research had brought to the fore, the kind of transport inequalities that older persons experienced.

“It has also brought to the fore, transport policy gaps that exist at city and/or national scale,” he said.

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