Lack of public transportation

On World Disability Day, challenges persist for Kurdistan’s disabled community

ERBIL, December 3 — As the world marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, concerns mount for the disabled community in Kurdistan. In the first 11 months of this year alone, 800 individuals have joined the Kurdistan Disabled Union, highlighting a growing set of challenges faced by this community.

Saman Hussein, the president of the Kurdistan Disabled Union, emphasized the daily struggles faced by wheelchair users, revealing that they often endure extended waits of over an hour for taxis. The crux of the issue lies in the lack of patience exhibited by taxi drivers who hesitate to assist disabled individuals in boarding with their wheelchairs.

Hussein underscored a broader problem, stating, “The disabled have not been provided with public transportation and cannot use it most of the time.” Compounding these difficulties are infrastructure shortcomings, as roads and sidewalks fail to consider the needs of the disabled. Most sidewalks, with heights of around 50 centimeters, pose a significant challenge for disabled individuals, necessitating assistance for navigating them. As World Disability Day draws attention to these pressing issues, the call for inclusive and accessible solutions for disabled community resonates more urgently than ever.