SEEKING ASSISTANCE FOR CYCLONE FREDDY SURVIVORS
Little has been done to provide people with disabilities with the guidance and support needed during the cyclone Freddy disaster, even though many of them are part of the high-risk group.
Unless governments and communities take action, discrimination against people with disabilities has increased during the cyclone Freddy disaster in camps where they are seeking shelter. There is more to worry about as there are existing barriers that people with disabilities face.
Malawi Union of the Blind is a nationally registered advocate organization for the rights and needs of the visually impaired people in Malawi which was formed in 1994. Currently, MUB has 45 branches across the country.
Mission: To advocate for the rights of the visually impaired people and further their interests through awareness-raising and empowerment so that they participate fully in the national development process.
In its quest to realize the above vision, MUB has the following specific objectives;
Mobilizing visually impaired people for collective action.
Influencing legislation in favour of blind and partially sighted people.
Improving on the social and economic situation of blind and partially sighted people through lobbying for employment opportunities and access to income generating activities.
Improving the management and implementation of MUB programs through training in identified areas.
Promoting and influence the delivery of services to blind and partially sighted people through networking and collaboration with government and other NGOs.
Raising awareness on needs, problems, limitations, potentials and rights of blind and partially sighted people so as to change society’s negative attitude towards them.
MUB Program Areas
To realize our mission and objectives, the Union acts as a conduit of support for its 45 branches in the country with a total of 13,396 members (6,140 males and 7,256 females). We have accordingly developed a diversified range of programs including:
Social and Economic Empowerment of rural blind women
Capacity building for the membership through leadership training, organizational development, and income generation;
Visually impaired youth Empowerment
Advocacy on HIV&AIDS, sexual and reproductive health rights;
Malawi has been hit hard by cyclone Freddy from Friday March 10th to Tuesday March the 14th. The results of this cyclone is that the southern region has experienced high volumes of rainfall that has resulted in a lot of devastation. At least 190 people have died after Tropical Cyclone Freddy ripped through southern Malawi, local authorities said Tuesday as survivors continue to look for loved ones in badly hit areas. At least 584 have been injured and 37 people have been reported missing in the country.
The record-breaking storm caused most deaths in Malawi’s commercial hub, Blantyre, where dozens of children were among those who perished in mudslides. Authorities in Malawi said at least 190 people were killed with 584 injured and 37 missing. The flood contamination of drinking water will exacerbate a cholera outbreak in Malawi, where at least 19,000 people have been displaced.
About 10.4 percent of the population aged 5 years and older in Malawi had at least one type of disability (1,556,670). The southern region has high numbers of persons with disabilities and the hardest hit districts of Blantyre, Phalombe, Mulanje, Chikwawa and Nsanje have equally more persons with disabilities.
People with disabilities are two to four times more likely to die or sustain injuries in disasters than the general population and are highly vulnerable in emergency situations. This population is also disproportionately affected by poverty, lack of social support, and structural exclusion, further compounding their vulnerability during disasters. Motor, sensory, cognitive, communication, and behavioural impairments have a significant impact on the ability of people with disabilities to prepare, evacuate, and recover from disasters. The risk to people with disabilities due to disaster is further increased by limited access to disaster information and evacuation resources.
People with disabilities are more likely to be unprepared for disasters and are less likely to evacuate due to concerns that evacuation shelters will not accommodate their needs. Disaster evacuation planning generally does not cater to the specific needs of people with disabilities such as their mobility limitations, need for special equipment and assistance dogs, coordination with carers, accessible transport, accessible evacuation shelters, communication deficits, access to medications, and the need for a reliable power source to operate vital equipment (e.g. power wheelchairs, air mattresses, communication devices, and ventilators).
While international disaster risk reduction policy and planning frameworks have existed for decades, disability inclusive disaster risk reduction (DiDRR) is a relatively new phenomenon worldwide. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 is the first international disaster management framework to include the needs of people with disabilities. The Sendai Framework emphasises the importance of people with disabilities and their organisations being actively involved in disaster planning and development of disaster risk reduction policies. In Australia, DiDRR requires attention at a national level to align with the Sendai Framework, and to increase the resilience of people with disabilities to disasters. While some state and regional centres have disability inclusive disaster management guidelines, Australia’s National Strategy for Disaster Resilience makes no mention of the needs of people with disabilities.
INTERVENTIONS THAT MUB IS SEEKING
Food stuffs such as maize meals floor, relish
Clothes for elders and children including blankets
Plastic sheets for construction of temporary shelters
Buckets, cups, basins, pots including stoves
Medical aid supplies
White canes for self-living
You can share your support through;
Account Name: MUB Education
Bank: Standard Bank
Account Number: 9100001213978; Limbe Branch
Swift code: SBICMWMXXXX
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