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DIHA Project celebrates World Humanitarian Day, Calls for Disability Inclusive Actions

By Ashiyo Tina The CBC Health Services through the Disability Inclusive Humanitarian Action (DIHA) project has joined the humanitarian family in Bamenda to commemorate the 2022 edition of the World Humanitarian Day under the theme, “It takes a village”.

Commemorative activities took place at the Bamenda Cathedral premises and were organized by the North West Regional Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in collaboration with the DIHA project. The event brought together hundreds of humanitarian workers from humanitarian organisations and some beneficiaries including persons with disabilities.

In his welcome address and presentation of the Humanitarian architecture during the event, the Coordinator of the North West Regional Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Tanda Theophilus said it is the collective efforts of humanitarian organisations in the clusters to attain the objective of supporting people affected by the socio-political crisis. He called on humanitarian organisations to master their clusters including the protection, health, food security, nutrition, education, shelter and non-food items, including Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH). He called them to attend and participate in cluster meetings.

The commemoration was used as an avenue to address matters regarding disability inclusion in humanitarian actions by the CBC Health Services. Thus, the DIHA project presented the findings of an assessment on disability inclusion in humanitarian organisations carried out in 2021 by an independent Consultant – Wango Julius.

The findings showed that lack of data on disability, inadequate knowledge on disability mainstreaming, negative attitudes, inaccessible structures, environments and information, long distances, institutional barriers and failure to consult persons with disabilities are barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from being effectively included in humanitarian response.

The Consultant noted that humanitarian actions in the North West Region of Cameroon can be more inclusive if all stakeholders play their role effectively and place persons with disabilities at the center of all humanitarian actions. The day in Bamenda was also characterized by presentations of different cluster activities, a sketch and poem highlighting the different humanitarian activities in the region and visit of exhibition stands of the different humanitarian organisations. The day was spiced by a football match, musical presentations, egg race, tug-of-war, fashion parade and dance.

At the level of the DIHA Project, the day was also used as an opportunity for awareness raising on disability inclusion by the Coordinator of the Coordinating Unit of the Associations of Persons with Disabilities (CUAPWD) for the North West Region, Mr. Chick Sama. In an outing to three radio stations, he called on the humanitarian community and the general public on the need to include persons with disabilities in humanitarian actions.

The day proper was preceded by a discussion on theme of the 2022 World Humanitarian Day by staff of the Services for Persons with Disabilities of the CBC Health Services. The staff reflected on their roles in negotiating, advocating, collecting and analyzing data, providing health and other services to respond to the needs of people affected by the crisis in the North West Region of Cameroon.

Discussions were coordinated by the Coordinator of Disability Inclusive Humanitarian Action Project (DIHA), Asheri Ngah who told the SPD staff that their collective efforts have helped the DIHA project to attain its objective of providing assistance to people affected by crisis in the North West Region including those with disabilities. The Disability Inclusive Humanitarian Project, it should be noted, is implemented with funding from the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) through Christian Blind Mission (CBM).