Disability ? Inclusive Approach to Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments for Disaster Preparedness and Risk Reduction Management

Pictured: Elenoa Kaisau, Programs Officer for the Fiji Disabled Persons Federation explaining the Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments to participants.

The training on Disability Inclusive Disaster Prepared and Risk Management workshop continued this morning at the Friendly North Inn.

Elenoa Kaisau, Programs Officer of the Fiji Disabled Persons Federation explained the importance of Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments (VCA)process as it was participatory in nature which engages with community members and other stakeholders in the systematic collection and analysis of data.

?VCA is a central component of empowering communities to take ownership over the disaster risk management process,? said Ms Kaisau??However, persons with disability are often invisible in VCAs hence not included in the findings.

Katabwena Tawaka, Program Manager for Pacific Disability Forum in contributing to the session, challenged the participants to reflect back on what they have learnt from the training and for participants to ask themselves as to what they are doing here.

?You are here, because you are the voice of the voiceless.? Mr Tawaka said. ?You have come from different parts of the Northern Division and its time you?reflect back on how the voiceless in your community have been treated and how you can change that.?

?Practical challenges to include persons with disabilities in VCAs can be easily addressed through proactive planning and willingness to adjust facilitation techniques to support participation.?

Elenoa Kaisau, Programs Officer of the Fiji Disabled Persons Federation added that findings related to persons with disabilities must be visible throughout the analysis and not just limited to statistics on numbers on persons with disabilities.

Participants were able to group work and came up with Action Plans for their communities. A transact walk, mapping, historic timeline, disaster calendar/seasonal analysis, risk ranking and resource and institutional mapping is now part of their Disability Inclusive Action Plan for VCA in their communities.

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