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The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) wishes to draw attention to the disproportionate burden borne by Special Interest Groups (SIGs) especially Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) Older Members of Society, Women and Girls in the recent floods that have ravaged various parts of the country. The unprecedented floods, worsened by climate change and poor planning, have uprooted families, disrupted essential services, and increased the risk of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) against women and girls.

From securing basic items such as food and water in temporary shelters to struggling with limited access to healthcare and education, the floods continue to pose an exceptional challenge for Special Interest Groups.

The Commission is concerned about the possible escalation in GBV within flood-hit areas. Crowded shelters especially in slums and disrupted social structures create an environment where women and girls are increasingly exposed to exploitation and violence.

To address these issues, the Commission urges the government to take immediate action on the following:

  1. Engender Disaster Response Mechanisms: Disaster response plans and resource allocation must prioritize the specific needs of women and girls. This includes ensuring they have access to crucial information, help, and decision-making during emergencies.
  2. Invest in Inclusive Built Infrastructure and Planning: National and County governments must build stronger infrastructure and improve urban planning, with a focus on protecting vulnerable groups like persons with disabilities and the elderly. This will minimize the impact of future floods.
  3. Strengthen Social Support Programmes: The government, through relevant ministries, should strengthen social support systems. This includes providing mental health services and GBV prevention programmes to empower women and girls to overcome flood-related adversities.

The Commission welcomes the recent resolution between the Government and the Doctors' Union that ended the crippling strike and will allow for the resumption of essential medical services.

Protecting Children's Safety and Education:

With schools resuming this week, the safety of children is paramount. The Commission calls for proactive steps to safeguard their well-being during this challenging time. We urge the Government to implement comprehensive safety protocols in flood-affected areas by:

  1. Assessing school infrastructure for flood vulnerability.
  2. Providing safe transportation options for students.
  3. Conducting awareness campaigns on flood safety measures.
  4. Ensuring access to clean water and sanitation facilities in schools.

The Commission stands ready to support these efforts and ensure the rights of every child and indeed all Special Interest Groups are upheld.






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