Tropical cyclone Mocha is on course to hit the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh. Cox’s Bazar is home to more than one million Rohingya refugees, including people with disabilities.
We know that people with disabilities are often the worst affected when a disaster strikes. They are at higher risk of being injured or losing their lives during a disaster. They may be unable to get to safety on their own and may be left behind by their families. People with disabilities also face additional barriers that can make it harder to recover from a disaster and rebuild their homes and livelihoods.
Disability-inclusive planning and preparedness is crucial to protecting the lives and livelihoods of people with disabilities. CBM Australia with our federation, CBM Global, and local partner Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) have already implemented the following:
Preparing for disaster
Raising awareness among people with disabilities about the meaning of signals, the location of the cyclone shelter, and overall safety measures. The team is also sensitising family members/caregivers about their safe evacuation before the cyclone.
CBM/CDD has a 10-member Emergency Response Team standing by.
The team are in constant contact with emergency and critical response units as well as local authorities to ensure safe shelter and evacuation for people with disabilities.
Plans for during the disaster
Close communication and coordination with camp leads and volunteers to ensure special care of people with disabilities who will evacuate to a safe shelter and ensure their necessary support.
Advocating for support to children with disabilities, to minimise distress.
Following the disaster, CBM and CDD will actively participate in assessments to ensure they are inclusive of people with disabilities.
We will update this article as more information comes to light.