DFID, CBM release disability audit findings

Gloria Essien, Abuja


The Department for International Development, DFID and the Christian Blind Mission have released the disability audit findings in Nigeria.

The findings were released at a high level workshop on disability-inclusive humanitarian action has been held in Abuja

The meeting was to review Lessons from Disability Audit of North East Nigeria Transition to Development (NENTAD) Humanitarian Respond.

It was also to increase awareness of commitment to disability inclusive humanitarian response and recovery amongst key stakeholders in Nigeria.

The Head of North East Humanitarian Assistance of the Department for International Development, DFID, Mischa Foxell, said that the audit was necessary in the inclusion of persons with Disabilities in planning.

Special Sentiments
She said that DFID is interested in disability across the country but with special sentiments to the north east.

“DFID is interested in disability across the country but what we really want to do is understand the impact of the humanitarian crisis on people with disabilities because we know that everyone becomes more vulnerable in a humanitarian crisis like we are seeing in the north east. And we know that in humanitarian crisis around the world, people with disabilities are the most vulnerable. So, for us, this was a very issue to look at and make sure we were taken into account in all humanitarian reprogramming,” Foxell said.

She noted that the audit has given them more fantastic ideas about what they can do differently.

“So, it has giving us lots of really important ideas and we are really excited about taking the findings forward and continuing to work with CBM is very important to us,” she added.

Humanitarian Assistance
The Country Representative of Christian Blind Mission, CBM Mr. Bright Ekweremadu, said that the audit would ensure that persons with Disabilities in Nigeria access humanitarian assistance.

He said that CBM discovered that there are things in the audit that could have been done differently.

“We discovered that some work done go recognize persons with disabilities but not very consciously. So, there were quiet a few things that could have been done better including proper resourcing, proper training of staff, making sure that persons with disability are involved even in the planning stages. So, that is what we ha6dpne today. And what we asking the government of Nigeria and donors to do, is to mainstream disability inclusion in all their activities so that persons with disability are not left behind,” Ekweremadu said.

Equal Rights
The Nigerian First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, who was represented at the workshop by Dr. Asabe Vilita Bashir, said that persons living with disability have same rights with everyone else and deserve to be treated well.

“People living with disability are human beings like us and they have the right to benefit from the goodies that government provides,” she said.

A representative of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Nkechi Onwukwe said that humanitarian work requires all assistance it can get.

She noted that the ministry is working towards reviewing the data collection of persons with disability which would help in planning for them.

She said that the issue of the conflict in the north east has escalated the number of persons with disability in Nigeria.

Persons with disabilities from across Nigeria attended the workshop.

Improving Lives
Mr. Haruna Pai Of the association of the Blind commended the international agencies for working towards improving the lives of persons with disabilities.

On her part, Ms Omotunde Ellen Thomson, said that persons living with disability are very vulnerable and a lot needs to be done to protect them.

She added that governments and donors need to pay attention in the area of education.

The Lessons from Disability Audit of North East Nigeria Transition to Development (NENTAD) Humanitarian Respond hopes to increase the inclusion of the persons living with disability in planning, strengthen the capacity of persons with disabilities and address some notable challenges they encounter.