Monday, January 4, 2010

Disaster Management, Preparedness and Disability

Four group are more vulnerable towards disaster: women, children, people with disability and elderly people. To give understanding about disaster vigilance towards those four groups, PIDA ( Pusat Informasi Difabel Aceh ), Aceh Disability Information Center is an information center for those with physical limitation.

This organization is supported by handicap International and DPO ( Disability People Organization ). To support the socialization program and as information resources, PIDA in collaboration with DPO POTA and Djati Radio hold a participative radio program focusing on disaster risk reduction. The program is expected to give knowledge to the community, especially radio listener, on the importance of having such knowledge so that they will be able to reduce their vulnerability and improve their vigilance towards disaster. Moreover, this program aims to help people who are included in those four vulnerable group categories.

Ironically, among these vulnerable groups, persons with disability are the one who will get the most impact when disaster occurs. They will face difficulties in many ways especially when they try to rescue themselves. This is not concerning only persons with disability, but also persons without physical disability. This situation will worsen if not enough specific information is previously given. When a disaster occurs, most part of the community will experience a great panic, and this must be avoided, especially by those concerned with physical limitation.

PIDA's activity will strengthen the coordination and network among DPOs to achieve common understanding in various cases, especially with the support from many parties and by trainings. With the existence of radio programs on disaster risk reduction, DPO members will gain knowledge and new skills, specifically in using mass media for promotion. Additionally mass media can be used to socialize rights fulfillment of person with disability. This activity focuses on the partisipation of DPOs in encouraging independence to run radio program, and will develop leadership skill of DPO members. Person with disability will be informed by their representative through radio on the vigilance when a disaster strikes as well as how to reduce their vulnerability when facing dangerous situations. So by this way it is expected that the concerned group ( person with disability, women, children and elderly people ) will have equal opportunity to survive and be safe from danger.

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