Inclusive Disaster Preparedness in Myanmar
The best way to cope with natural disasters is to be well-prepared. At Malteser International, we work to ensure the full and meaningful participation of all groups and individuals in disaster preparedness activities, particularly the most vulnerable. For many people with disabilities, emergencies and disasters can present an enormous challenge.
In Myanmar's Kayin State, a region prone to frequent monsoon rains, we are working to promote the rights of people with disabilities, strengthen their capacities in the face of future risks, and help them build back better.
Although the annual monsoon season in Myanmar has become shorter in recent years, the intensity of rainfall and storms has increased. Due to its many rivers and heavy rainfall, the country's Kayin State is particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events. In 2013 and 2018, 10,000 people were displaced by severe floods.
Natural disasters affect the entire population, however, people with disabilities face higher risks. Many disaster management measures neglect appropriate infrastructure, such as barrier-free evacuation centres and escape routes.
Our aim is to appropriately include the needs of people living with disabilities in our disaster preparedness activities.
- People living with disabilities should play an active role in the implementation of preventive strategies and should be actively involved in the processes of development and monitoring.
- With adequately preparing people living with disabilities, which involves taking into account the “build back better” strategy we hope for a more effective response to extreme weather and the time of reconstruction.
- We want to integrate and involve people living with disabilities and other vulnerable groups so that they can actively engage in community-based preparations of disaster risk reduction.
- Support for the training and organization of people living with disabilities on national and community levels
- Provision of wheelchairs and crutches
- Awareness raising about the importance of inclusive measures of disaster risk reduction
- Promotion of active participation in events and discussions on the topic of disaster risk reduction
- Establishment of a civil protection task force in Kayin State
- Promoting knowledge sharing on the relationship between risk and disability
- Support for the establishment of disaster risk management committees to distribute emergency kits, carry out joint risk analysis, and identify existing capacities
- Development of early warning systems to pay special attention to people with disabilities
- Organization of simulation exercises, first aid training, search and rescue activities for schools and communities
- Support for redesigning of barrier-free evacuation centres
Area: 676.578 km²
Population: approx.51.5 million
Project start: January 2018
Financing: Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Partners: Disability inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Network (DiDRRN), Myanmar Independent Living Initiative (MILI)
Last Update: October 2019