AFRICA/KENYA - Flood emergency: people with disabilities among the most vulnerable

Saturday, 12 May 2018

CBM Italia Onlus

Kabarnet (Agenzia Fides) - The violent floods that have been devastating large areas of Kenya since March, where the previous drought led to soil erosion, continue. The toll, according to the Red Cross, speaks of at least 200 dead, 242,000 displaced and 500 families have been severely affected, many of whom have lost everything. Floods have destroyed homes, fields, roads, making many areas isolated and inaccessible.
The great refugee camp of Dadaab, inhabited by 500 thousand people, is also in serious difficulty. The center of Muranga was devastated by a landslide while in Rongai the Kandisi stream destroyed a bridge crowded with people. The rains will continue for the next few weeks in vast areas of the Country. Inevitably, an imminent spread of cholera and malaria epidemics is feared.
"In emergencies and natural disasters, people with disabilities are among the worst affected, have a double mortality rate compared to others", said to Agenzia Fides, the Director of "Christian Blind Mission" Italy (CBM), Massimo Maggio. "They struggle to save themselves, they cannot access humanitarian aid because they do not hear the warnings and emergency messages, because they are not included in the rescue plans, they cannot access basic humanitarian operations (such as the distribution of food, water, access to shelters and health services)".
"At the same time - continues the Director - emergencies can increase the number of people who become disabled, both in the short and long term, due to the reported injuries and the lack of adequate medical services. This is why CBM helps these people access relief services, works with relief organizations, to ensure that emergency programs are truly inclusive. The objective is to help 1,300 families seriously affected by flooding, with priority for families with people with disabilities, providing tents and shelters, drinking water, medical and health services and rehabilitation, distributing visual aids and wheelchairs, sticks for the blind... money for basic necessities, livestock and agricultural equipment". Baringo County, in northern Kenya, is one of the most affected by the floods. In this area many health and educational services are inaccessible, hundreds of schools and hospitals closed. The CBM, present for over 40 years in Baringo, is working in close collaboration with the Red Cross of Kenya and APDK, the Association of People with Physical Disabilities of Kenya, to identify people with disabilities and bring them help. (PDL/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 12/5/2018)