Fiji Sun Online, 27th July 2018
In terms of vulnerabilities to climate change, Naomi Navoce says persons with disabilities are the most vulnerable in terms of its impacts. “Mortality rates of persons with disabilities in times of disaster are two to four times higher than those without disabilities,” she said.
The Pacific Disability Forum representative aired her concern during the Climate Action Pacific Partnership (CAPP) conference. The theme of the conference underway at the Grand Pacific Hotel is “A Pacific Talanoa For Resilience, Ambition And Urgency”.
Pacific persons with disabilities are often unable to access humanitarian assistance due to the inaccessibility of humanitarian services, and non-availability of reasonable accommodation to accommodate their disability-specific needs, Ms Navoce said.
She said in terms of being voiceless, they were often left out of the Talanoa room because many assumed that they could not effectively contribute to these talanoa. “Or the venue, information or communication were not accessible for persons with disabilities,” she said.
“The loss of accessibility and damages to assistive devices during extreme weather events had multiple impacts on the lives of persons with disabilities. “This means they also lose access to health, education, food source, livelihood and other aspects of their lives.