People with disabilities left behind in disaster preparedness: Survey

FIJI: A recent survey of disability inclusiveness in disaster preparedness and risk reduction found people with disabilities are not considered in the evacuation process.

Pacific Disability Forum program manager Katabwena Tawaka said this as a follow-up to the needs assessment of disabled people in Fiji before, during and after natural disasters.

Members of various agencies and government departments met at the Tanoa Plaza in Suva on Thursday to discuss the findings and outcomes of the assessment.

“The summary of findings found that disabled people are not part of the processes before, during and after natural disasters,” Mr Tawaka said. “It would be good to start involving them, they might not be as educated but they should be included.”

Mr Tawaka said the idea of the phase two workshop was to show stakeholders the challenges.

“We hope they can start working out some strategies to meet these in the future,” he said.

“The Fiji Disabled People’s Federation is working on a thorough report of the findings, which will be presented to stakeholders.”