Report on impact of emergencies on persons with disabilities

Report
from Christian Blind Mission
Published on 07 May 2013 View Original

In April 2013 CBM, together with Association of the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) and Kenya Red Cross (KRC), launched the ‘Baseline Survey Report 2012’ which assesses the impact and gaps of disaster and emergency on person with disability in northern Kenya. The findings from the baseline survey, the first of its kind, shall inform future CBM response and commitment in mainstreaming disability within KRC relief activities and other strategic mainstream humanitarian organisations in times of emergencies and post emergencies. Present at the launch were government representatives and other Humanitarian organisations representatives.

Inclusion for sustainable development

“Disability is the only club in the world that members are not asked permission to join. We are also the only organisation that does not need new members, our lot as persons with disabilities here on earth are to assist others and live with others.” These were the remarks of the guest of honor Dr. Samuel Tororei, then Chairman Kenya National Commission of Human Rights at the launch of the baseline survey report for assessing the impact of disaster and emergency on persons with disabilities in arid-lands and Northern Kenya.

Dr. Samuel himself is visually impaired. He cautioned those with disabilities to shift towards inclusion for sustainable development, implying equality with others without disabilities and joining in activities intended for the public. He encouraged persons with disabilities to widen their horizon and avoid distancing themselves from the rest of the community. He was speaking from some of the preliminary findings of the survey where in some instances persons with disability do not easily cooperate in development in view of the fact that they believe they are taken advantage of.

Findings of the report

The discussions around the report highlighted the need for improved nutrition among the children who lack Vitamin A which can only be accessed in school. School sessions are interrupted by sporadic conflicts in the communities in Turkana. The children of persons with disability do not attend school since they are used as guides by their parents. Incidences of physical abuse are common in the homestead of persons with disabilities where husband and wives are known to fight physically to assert their ideas.It was noted that people with disability did not want to participate in developmental activities since they felt they were be taken advantage of. These were some of the highlights.

The findings from the baseline survey, the first of its kind, shall inform future CBM response and commitment in mainstreaming disability within KRC relief activities and other strategic mainstream humanitarian organisations in times of emergencies and post emergencies in Northern Kenya. Additionally, the findings as well provide an avenue towards understanding the challenges of persons with disability from evidence based survey in the selected areas in Northern Kenya where a survey of this nature targeting persons with disability in terms of access to services in an emergency context has not been undertaken before.

Present at the launch

Present at the launch were government representatives from the Ministry of Public Health and Social Services, the Ministry of Medical Services, and Ministry of Health Orthopaedic Services; representatives from the Kenya National Human Rights commission, Kenya Red Cross, International Organisation of Immigration (IOM), Handicap International, and the media were represented at the launch.