Disability inclusion in the rapid disaster assessment during Dili floods–March 2020


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On the 13th of March 2020 flash flooding hit Dili with little notice, causing the biggest floods in people’s memory, affecting 15 sucos (neighbourhoods) in Dili. Ra’es Hadomi Timor-Oan (RHTO), Timor-Leste’s leading national Disabled Persons Organisation for the first time took part in the government led rapid disaster assessment with the support of Oxfam in Timor-Leste under the Disaster Ready program supported by the Australian Humanitarian Partnership and Australian Government. From this assessment RHTO developed a summary report and press release on disability inclusion in the assessment with recommendations for government and disaster stakeholders to support improving disability inclusion in future assessments and response. Two RHTO staff undertook the assessment in two sucos Bairu-Pite and Vila Verde together with other disaster actors. Government assessment forms were used for data collection. In recognition that these forms did not sufficiently capture the needs of persons with disabilities RHTO also utilised the Washington Group Questions and asked further more specific questions when interviewing persons with disabilities.

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