In its effort to muster support for people living with disability especially in disaster situations, the Director General National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Muhammad Sani Sidi has called on the public to consider the plight of the disabled persons in their communities to provide them with necessary assistance during emergencies.
He made a call today in Abuja at a programme organized to mark this year International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction with the theme: “Living with Disability and Disaster”. He said “the theme captured the essence why we most work together to reduce the risk and impacts of disaster on the vulnerable in our mist.”
Sani Sidi noted that persons living with disability were among the most excluded in the society, that their plight usually escalate when disaster strikes. “ We need to remind our planners and builders that wheelchair access is needed for evacuation and there is the need to include this in our designs and buildings,” he added.
He further said “ It is important to remind ourselves that including the people with disabilities in disaster risk reduction efforts will not only be to their benefit, but it will have the potential to contribute to community-wide resilience. People living with disabilities must be seen not as passive recipients of humanitarian care, but rather as equal participants in disaster risk reduction”.
On the significance of the occasion, he said the United Nation designated the day which is normally celebrated annually to raise the profile of disaster risk reduction and to encourage people and government to participate in building more resilient communities and the Nation.
Participants in the program were drawn from UNDP, ECOWAS, Fed. Of Education, Albino Foundation, School of handicapped, Kuje. Others include Fed. Of Women affairs, Human right Commission, Disable Rehabilitation Foundation and Centre of advocacy for persons with Disability