Disability Inclusion During Floods Response In Baringo County
Dignified and inclusive humanitarian response is a model used by the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) during emergency response in order to improve the wellbeing and livelihoods of those affected by disasters and emergencies. In 2018, Kenya experienced disastrous floods that caused havoc in some parts of the country.
In Baringo County, KRCS partnered with Christoffel Blindenmission (CBM) to support 1,302 households in Baringo South among them; people with disabilities, the elderly, pregnant or breastfeeding women, households that had lost all their income generating activities andthose that were yet to receive food support.
At the time, the most affected populations were women, children, elderly, special groups and the sick. A dire need of humanitarian support of food, shelter, health, water, nutrition and protection was evident on the ground.
Baringo County which borders Turkana and Samburu Counties to the North, Laikipia to the East, Nakuru and Kericho to the South, Uasin Gishu to the South West, and Elgeyo - Marakwet and West Pokot to the West has experienced series of flooding in various locations. This caused major disturbances entailing destruction and loss of property, displacement of communities besides trailing animals and human life. Excess surface run-off compounded by poor and/or lack of proper drainage system further left several schools, homes and centres marooned.
“I’m determined not to be any less than someone with two working legs," Sarah K. Wilson narrated.
“More than often, people with disabilities have been discriminated against and looked upon as people who are less than capable of engaging in everyday activities. Disabled people grow up with trauma triggered by the schools they attend, public institutions or everyday interactions with society. As a result, many of them end up thinking - I am not capable of achieving much, and end up settling for less in their ambitions,” Sarah continued.
Sarah noted that the situation is often worse in traditional/rural settings where they are ostracized and considered to be a ‘curse’ to the society forcing many families to either hide or abandon them.
“Disabled people are often at a disadvantage when a humanitarian crisis occurs in their environment, becoming the first casualties of tragedies such as floods and drought. Catering to the needs of persons with disabilities will significantly alleviate suffering when crises such as floods occur,” Sarah concluded.