Home NewsNational NUDOR Raises Awareness On Alleviation of Disaster Effects Against Persons with Disability

NUDOR Raises Awareness On Alleviation of Disaster Effects Against Persons with Disability

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
7:04 am

Interpretation of sign language for a person who cannot hear, see nor speak

The National Union of Disability Organisations(NUDOR) has  brought together different activists that intervene in the area of protection and advocacy of persons with disability, government institutions whose mandate include disaster management, well-being, people’s rights and inclusiveness to address issues among a section that is most affected by disasters.

This meeting first of all intended to tell the general public, that, based on their physical or mental challenges, persons with disability are the most affected by effects of disasters.

To narrow down this statement, NUDOR, a union with more than ten organisations took an ample time to explain some of specific challenges among the persons with disability during a period of disasters.

Following illiteracy that was caused by parents who shy away from taking them to school or lack of appropriate schools for them, some persons with disability cannot have information on the imminence of disaster in their area. Therefore, they will not be able to take some precautions like the rest of the members of the society.

In a different scenario, the people with disability can be aware of the disasters that are most likely to happen, but when they befell their village, they cannot afford any attempt to escape because their disability is an impediment that cannot allow them to escape like the rest of their family members.

Well aware that in some instances the persons with disability are not completely naive or cannot contribute anything towards their safety, NUDOR reminded that the first thing for every member of Rwandan society, is to know that they probably have a person with disability next door, who may need special attention as disasters befall the village.

NUDOR Executive Secretary Nsengiyumva Jean Damascene speaking to the media

The Executive Secretary of NUDOR Jean Damascene Nsengiyumva said at this meeting, that first of all the government should put in practice the international treaty about disability to which it is signatory.

“Implementation of the government’s engagement towards the protection of persons with disability especially in the provision of article 11 is a responsibility of many players, but ours is to show that out there, the persons with disability are not considered during a disaster; they don’t get information about the disaster, and do not get enough help when a calamity happens,” he said.

“We wish to remind the general public, that there is a person with disability next door who need special attention when disasters happen.”

NUDOR said that in their campiagn, people who do not have knowledge how to assist the persons with disability in preparedness and safety, will be introduced to some related skills.

All they ask several institutions is to know the number of people with disability and where they live, which would enable follow up in their case and dissemination of information related to disasters.

Furthermore, these institutions are required to relocate persons with disability from high risk zones to alleviate potential incidents, including fatalities when disasters occur.

In several testimonies, people with disability indicated the hardship they experience during disasters.

“This period of heavy rain for example; we are at risk when floods affect our villages. It is difficult for us to escape. We don’t have that much energy that would allow us to run away before water swallow us,” said Honorine Tuyishime, President of Rwanda Union of Little People (RULP).

“Some people grab a strong branch and jump into a tree when floods engulf their house, but for us, we cannot afford. We always need someone to be there for us.

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