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Simple ways to save lives


Prevention | Peru | PUBLISHED ON February 4th 2022
Disaster assembly point in Puente Piedra, in Los Jazmines, a community in the suburbs of Lima.

Disaster assembly point in Puente Piedra, in Los Jazmines, a community in the suburbs of Lima. | © Constance Wanert / HI

Subtitles and contrasting colours are just some of the very simple methods we can use to include the most vulnerable people in disaster risk reduction.

People with disabilities, older people and indigenous communities are often excluded from strategies on preventing and responding to natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. But by making some quite simple adjustments we can include these groups in risk reduction actions.

Taking simple measures

In Peru, an organisation that works to advance the inclusion of people with disabilities supported by HI helped improve a national disaster risk reduction campaign. Among the simple measures it recommended are:

  • Including the organisations of people with disabilities and their representatives in disseminating information through their networks
  • Translating awareness-raising videos into sign language and adding subtitles  
  • Increasing the size of text on posters and fliers
  • Using contrasting colours to enhance the legibility of information
  • Using multiple formats: visual, audio, text and illustrations
  • Disseminating the communication campaign on national media across the country to reach the whole population

As a result of these recommendations, families and people with disabilities were noticeably more likely to take part.

Bringing about lasting change in society

© Daniel Muñoz Raya / HIPsychologist Giovanna Osorio Romero is the chair of Kipu Llaxta, a partner organisation of HI that works to improve the inclusion and development of people with disabilities. Giovanna has a physical disability caused by a rare disease.

“Kipu Llaxta decided to address the issue of disaster risk management in Peru to make it more inclusive. With support from HI, we have trained ourselves in risk management and gained expertise."

"By making simple adjustments, the 2021 communication campaign was much more accessible, and people were better able to understand the prevention messages. This proves that inclusion benefits society as a whole and not just a small group of people. We are working hard to bring about lasting change and to challenge stereotypes.” 

Inclusive humanitarian action: HI’s commitment

Prevention measures and disaster response must take into account the specific needs of the most vulnerable people. HI supports disabled people’s organisations like Kipu Llaxta so their voice is heard and humanitarian action benefits the entire population. The organisation will draw attention to this commitment at the Global Disability Summit in 2022.

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