of human rights group Beakanyang, Friday met with Upper River Region (URR)
authorities in Basse where they discussed the involvement of disabled women in
climate change adaptation.
Speaking at the governor’s office in Mansajang Kunda, executive director of Beakanyang Nfamara Jawneh said disabled women are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, saying the plight of persons with disabilities especially women is in most cases ignored and not considered in climate change programmes. “As such, they continue to remain side-lined in relevant matters that even affect their lives.”
Mr. Jawuneh said there are many persons with disabilities in URR, mainly the visual impairments, physical disabilities and those with hearing impairments. He said that is why there is need to develop innovative ways to communicate climate information and knowledge to them.
“Persons with disabilities are part and parcel of the society and we cannot afford to live them behind,” he emphasized.
Deputy Governor Samba Bah acknowledged that persons with disabilities are sometimes neglected in development programmes, saying they are people with great ideas that when utilised could make great impact in the society.
Mr. Bah commanded Beakanyang for its work in the region and the country as a whole while assuring the delegation of their continued support at all time.
The meeting also discussed the political and caste conflicts in various parts of the region which show authorities and participants’ pledge to roll of reconciliation activities in the region in coming months to promote political tolerance and pluralism.
In another meeting at Kabakama, Alkalo Fatou Danso applauded Beakanyang for considering vulnerable people in society especially women with disabilities in climate change adaptation.
According to her, when climate change related disasters occur, vulnerable persons especially persons with disabilities suffer the most. “During a heavy flood last year,
a woman lost her child in this community. We have been experiencing serious flooding here,” she lamented.
Fanding Barrow, a board member of Beakanyang said in The Gambia, women with disabilities face many challenges in accessing available economic opportunities mainly due to their limited literacy, access to and control over resources, low levels of access to networks and people who can assist and support and greater vulnerability to sexual exploitation and abuse.
He said even though The Gambian constitution calls for equality between both men and women in the country, women especially those with disabilities continue to lack behind in almost all spheres of development including climate change discussions.
He reaffirmed his organisation’s commitment to continue working with other partners and stakeholders to ensure that persons with disabilities are fully involved in climate change adaptation and mitigation intervention programmes especially at community level.