Helping people with disabilities cope with natural disasters

Ip, Stories | April 19, 2023

People with disabilities are one of the most vulnerable groups in society when it comes to the impacts of climate change.

Without thinking about and including people with disabilities in disaster response and preparedness, they will be left behind – unable to flash flood waters or move through rugged terrain, unable to access critical support services and resources, and unable to support themselves and their families in their recovery.

Including people with disabilities in disaster preparedness and response is critical. In rural Nepal, we saw first-hand the impacts of climate change.
Floods caused by heavy storms and glaciers melting have destroyed buildings and land. Houses were washed away, and school buildings obliterated. But that’s not all. Families were displaced from homes, businesses ruined, and children no longer attended school.


Nepal is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. That is why CBM Australia is partnering with local organisations to help make people with disabilities more resilient to disasters.
People with disabilities need to have plans made ahead of time so that they know how to escape a disaster safely
. Our project team is supporting the development of such plans – plans that are accessible and made in consultation with people with disabilities.

With support from our donors, our livelihoods project is helping build the resilience of people with disabilities and their families.

People are learning new skills, and using new farming tools and techniques, such as growing vegetables in greenhouses or using drip irrigation. With more money in their pocket and a more sustainable and resilient livelihood, people with disabilities and their families will be better able to cope if or when a disaster strikes. They will be more likely to be able to continue putting food on the table, sending their children to school, paying for medication, and accessing essential services – things that no one should miss out on.
As the risk of disasters increase due to climate change, we need to invest now more than ever, to ensure that people with disabilities are not left behind.  

CBM acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and thanks our implementing partner SAPPROS.


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