Leaving no-one behind: The case of persons with disabilities in the wake of cyclone Idai, in Zimbabwe (2019)


Article 11 of the CRPD specifically requires States Parties, in accordance with their obligations under international law, to take all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including armed conflicts, humanitarian emergencies and natural hazards.

UNESCO and partners have initiated a preliminary work to give a voice to persons with disabilities in Bikita, Chimanimani and Chipinge while also un-derlining the urgent actions that are needed to make early warning system, recovery and reconstruction truly inclusive.

To date in Zimbabwe, there has not been a systemic data collection on per-sons with disabilities in the aftermath of the Cyclone Idai. This situation gen-erates many shortcomings in terms of inclusiveness of the recovery humani-tarian operations, and poses major difficulties for duty bearers to protect the dignity and rights of persons with disabilities who have been affected. Lack of accurate data also impacts on continuous marginalization of persons with disabilities in early warning system and in reconstruction process.

This factsheet uses limited data gathered from the registration process undertaken by the World Food Programme (Zimbabwe Office) during its op erations in Chimanimani and Chipinge. There are clear limitations in this regard since no disability survey per se has been conducted. The current data may under-identify persons with disabilities and the disability large spectrum has not been adequately covered under the three classification of “mild”, “moderate”, and “severe”, etc.

However, this is a good start in drawing stakeholders’ attention to the imper-ative need to address disability inclusion in Disaster and Risk Management infinitives.