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International Day for Disaster Reduction - meet Rashedul from Bangladesh

09-09-2013
A young man using a tricycle in a village
© Shumon Ahmed / CDD
Rashedul is empowered an prepared in case of a disaster in his community

On 13 October, CBM celebrates International Day for Disaster Reduction. Before this date, we are highlighting stories from the DiDRR network's publication 'Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Management'. The following story is about a young man, Rashedul, in Bangladesh, who is an active contributor to the disaster preparedness activities in his village.

What is International Day for Disaster Reduction?

13 October: A not so obvious conversation. Living with disability and disasters ©UN ISDR
International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) started in 1989 with the approval by the United Nations General Assembly. The UN General Assembly sees International Day as a way to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. International Day for Disaster Reduction is now celebrated on 13th October: a day to celebrate how people and communities are reducing their risk to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). It's also a day to encourage every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations.

The 2013 theme for the day is Living with Disability & Disasters. Persons living with disabilities have unique contributions, often overlooked, to help reduce the risk of disasters. IDDR 2013 intends to switch on and amplify this critical issue of including the needs of persons living with disabilities now and for the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.

What is the publication about?

cover of the publication: Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Management ©CBM
This publication presents disability inclusive disaster risk reduction by relating stories and testimonials of persons with disabilities acting as effective agents. This publication has been produced with the Disability-inclusive DRR Network for Asia and the Pacific (DiDRRN).

The document discloses good practices that illustrate the results of effective participation of persons with disabilities in disaster risk reduction activities. It also unveils how some organisations decided to include disability as an integral part of their policies and programmes.

Voices from the field: Meet Rashedul, empowered and prepared in the event of a disaster

Rashedul was born in Boali Village, situated in the Shreepur Union of Sundargonj sub district of Gaibandha. At an early age he got a fever and the absence of proper health care services in his village and his family’s poor economic situation made him lose function in his legs. The struggle his family had to face in the village made him move to Dhaka to try to support the family’s income through asking for money in the streets, though his dreams were always on finding another type of profession. He recalled as well the severe flood in his village in 2007 and the inhuman conditions he had to face during the emergency period. Nobody had thought about how to evacuate persons with mobility problems, or how to provide them with adequate latrines and safe drinking water.

Rashedul became one of the persons that participated in the project supported by CBM and CDD, as he joined the invitation from Gana Unnayan Kendra, the local partner implementing the project. Through this opportunity he could return to his village as he took part of the livelihood scheme and obtained a grant for buying a sewing machine, a few animals and tools for doing homestead gardening. He was also trained in disability inclusive disaster management and received a tricycle so that he could easily move around in the village and take part of the preparedness actions being implemented.

Acquisition of an accessible house, and inclusion in income generating activities, has enriched Rashedul's standard of living, and his skills in disaster management have brought him dignity and respect. Members of his family give a lot more importance to his needs and requirements. When asked what the reason behind this is, he answered: "because I am involved in productive activities now, I have a regular income, I have a house where neighbours can take shelter during flood, I have a tricycle, I have knowledge on flood preparedness and as a result I have the ability to help others."

It is imperative that the community, persons with disabilities and local government are meaningfully engaged in all DRR planning and its implementation. It is their support that is a key factor for success of undertaken programmes. Persons with disabilities often need counselling, life skills development, and access to information, positive environment, rehabilitation care and capacity on DRR to enable them to participate effectively and confidently. If such opportunities and services are available and if there are appropriate policies and these are implemented, persons with disabilities can contribute as their neighbours to community development.

More information

Disaster risk - CBM working to build more resilience

CBM is part of the DiDRR network to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in building resilience for the communities

04-04-2013

GP DRR outcome statement includes disability

In May 2013 CBM and partners participated in the 4th session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva

24-05-2013

Inclusive Emergency Response Unit (ERU)

CBM working with local partners to ensure that people with disabilities are included at all levels of disaster preparedness and response

06-11-2014


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