LABASA will soon be declared the first wheelchair friendly town in the country in terms of providing the most number of wheelchairs and mobility device users.
The Action for Children and the Aged Trust Fiji (ACATA) in partnership with Fiji Wheelchairs, Spinal Injury Association and the Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation has so far distributed more than 100 wheelchairs and other mobility devices to physically impaired people in the North.
ACATA executive director Rosan Lal said the idea came after they distributed the large number of such devices to recipients in Vanua Levu compared to other parts of the country.
The 'Wheelchair Friendly Town' declaration would be followed by the reconstruction of a few footpaths and facilities in town to allow easy access for those who use wheelchairs.
"The initiative will foster an inclusive society in which nobody is disadvantaged," Mr Lal said.
"An important part of delivering this commitment is breaking down unnecessary physical barriers and exclusions imposed on disabled people by the current design of town footpaths. Too often, the need for disabled people is considered late and separately from the needs of others."
He said this would also allow physically-challenged students to go to major secondary schools located in the vicinity of the town, obstacle free, and on their own accord.
Labasa and Savusavu special administrator Vijay Chand acknowledged the move saying it was a great opportunity to improve the lives of disabled people in the area.
"This is a huge contribution to the livelihoods of the deprived and the initiative taken shows corporate and social commitment."