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As one of the world’s climate change hotspots, natural disasters in the form of flooding, cyclones, and drought are a part of everyday life for the people of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to natural hazards due to its geographical location, land characteristics, multiplicity of rivers and the monsoon climate. However, these events hit people living in poverty “and in particular persons with a disability” the hardest of all.
Yet, there is very limited participation of persons with disabilities in disaster management planning and limited awareness and training of emergency response and disaster preparedness staff regarding their needs. As a result, they are mostly excluded from disaster management actions such as risk and capacity assessment, identification, early warning, search, rescue, evacuation, shelters, emergency response, water & sanitation, healthcare, and rehabilitation. For example, deaf people are unable to hear audible early warning signals, evacuation may be difficult or impossible without personal assistance and village disaster shelters may not be accessible as they have steps or are under water following a severe flood. They may also be overlooked in the relief and rebuilding process, and given they have often lost their personal possessions and their means of livelihood this can send persons with disabilities into a spiral of greater poverty and vulnerability that intensifies with every new disaster.
To address this issue, CDD implements disability inclusive disaster response and risk reduction projects and advocates for persons with disabilities and their families to be included in preparedness, response and recovery activities conducted by mainstream disaster management agencies.
disability shelter [image]
disabled food search [image]
CDD’s key disaster and risk reduction activities are as follows:
- Provision of emergency relief
- Making capacity and risk analysis disability inclusive
- Implementing fully accessible early warning signs for those with visual and/or hearing impairments
- Encouraging inclusive search and rescue mechanisms such as accessible boats, equipment, and training of rescue personnel etc
- Disability friendly disaster shelters, housing and toilets
- Installing tube wells to ensure safe drinking water for the community post-disaster
- Training the community in how to provide for the needs of persons with disabilities in disaster situations i.e., in rescue and evacuation procedures, relief mechanisms, shelters, etc.
- Inclusion of persons with disabilities on disaster management and planning committees
- Training persons with disabilities in livelihoods that will survive disaster situations to help them recover and rebuild their lives more quickly in the aftermath
- Provision of assistive devices and therapy to persons with disabilities to improve mobility
- Advocacy and campaigning for the inclusion of disability issues into initiatives undertaken by disaster management organisations and the Government