A DRAFT law that will force all new buildings to include special facilities for the disabled will be ready by the end of the year, Municipalities and Agriculture Minister Mansoor bin Rajab said yesterday.
He told members of the Shura Council that it would also cover public parks and gardens, in addition to other facilities.
"All of the public parks we designed and recently built include special facilities for the disabled," he said at yesterday's Shura Council session.
"We have installed children's games and rides especially for the disabled, in addition to the regular facilities we already included in our projects like special ramps, toilets, elevators and car parking.
"The ministry is currently assessing all of its public parks and gardens in co-ordination with Bahrain's five municipal councils, as we try to upgrade them ensuring that the disabled are taken into account."
Mr Bin Rajab was responding to a question by the council's woman and child committee chairman and Bahrain Mobility International president Muneera Bin Hindi on what was being done to help the disabled.
"We are trying to include more facilities for the disabled in our existing projects and those we are planning to build in the near future," said Mr Bin Rajab.
Meanwhile, the minister said a strategy had been approved on construction of public parks and gardens over the next five years.
"We are planning to have a model public park in each of the five governorates, in addition to small gardens in neighbourhoods," he said.
"Three model parks are lined up for the Northern, Central and Southern Governorates, while major parks like Al Andalus and Salmaniya in the Capital Governorate have been completed and opened to the public.
"The second phase of Adhari Park in the Northern Governorate, which has been developed by an investor on municipal land, will be completed in the upcoming weeks and officially opened to the public too.
"Al Ghous Coastline in the Muharraq Governorate and Abu Sobh Coastline in the Northern Governorate have already been turned into major parks with outstanding facilities and more are on the way.
"Sixty gardens have been constructed in small neighbourhoods and others are also being planned in co-ordination with the municipal councils."
He said the ministry was now working on projects that included a major revamp of the Water Garden, Ghufool, and Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa Public Park, Muharraq.
"Surrounding areas to traditional ayns (natural water springs) are also being turned into public parks and Ayn Al Raha, Sitra, is currently being developed," he added.