RIZAL PROVINCE – To further emphasize the rights and vital roles of vulnerable groups – including persons with disabilities – in preparing for calamities and emergency situations, the REBUILD Project of Handicap International – Philippines conducted a series of workshops on inclusive disaster risk reduction (DRR) for more than 160 stakeholders in Baras, Rizal.
Held last February 24 – 27, 2015, the capacity-building training primarily discussed concepts and issues about disability and vulnerability during disaster preparedness and response interventions and analyzed the essential link between disability and disaster.
In one activity, these points were applied where different types of disabilities were simulated by selected participants, increasing their awareness about the importance in considering the needs of persons with disabilities during the preparedness and response phases in emergency situations.
Subsequently, the facilitators discussed the various laws and legal frameworks on disability and DRR stressing to the participants the importance of a rights-based approach in DRR and the reasons why all processes in DRR should be inclusive.
Consisting of officials from ten barangays (small villages) in Baras, representatives from the local Disabled People’s Organization and beneficiaries of the project, the participants learned practical measures in taking steps in making their existing early warning systems inclusive, and learn about security and protection issues in managing evacuation centers.
After a discussion on the functions and responsibilities of an incident command system, the contingency plans of the ten barangays were eventually reviewed and improved by discussing how all the previous topics contributed in making them inclusive.
Overall, the workshops stressed the importance of vulnerable groups to actively participate in every activity and decision making process in line with DRR through development of skills, policies on inclusion, practice of drills, dissemination of warning messages and other relevant measures.
The REBUILD Project is HI Philippines’ three-year inclusive livelihood and rights-based project with the objective of improving the access of vulnerable groups to various developmental opportunities. It is targeted to end by June 2015.