Disability-inclusive disaster response

Western Disable People’s Association President Jai Raj Prasad (front) with Acting Secretary Joytish Praveen Singh with some of the donated items at their office in Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

FIJIAN security forces personnel and village headmen will be trained to become first responders to persons with disabilities during disasters.

This was a resolution passed at the first national consultation on disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction (DRR) and humanitarian response work in Fiji.

According to the resolution document, the Fiji Disabled People’s Federation would provide training for police officers, military personnel, fire wardens, youth groups, women’s groups and village headmen for people with special needs.

The resolution also outlined that disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) would facilitate training for emergency operation centres on gender and disability inclusion.

They would also ensure that all disaster risk reduction preparedness plans and evacuation plans were inclusive of all persons with disabilities at all levels.

The document also revealed that community awareness and training on simulation exercises and evacuation drills would be facilitated for all persons with disabilities.

Stakeholders also outlined in the document that they would lobby and advocate the Ministry of Education for disability inclusion within the DRR school curriculum.

The outcome document was passed at Suva’s Holiday Inn and was discussed at large at the first-ever divisional disability awareness forum in Lautoka on Tuesday.

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