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Inclusive disaster resilience: Amplifying voices of people with disabilities


ICIMOD, Kathmandu, Nepal

Date & Time

15 April 2024 to 16 April 2024


About the event

This dialogue aims to understand and address the challenges faced by people with disabilities by bringing together experts, advocates, and representatives from the disability community. Upholding the HI-GRID project’s core principles of Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI), the workshop seeks to identify and implement actionable solutions towards a more inclusive Lower Koshi Basin.

This workshop is organised by ICIMOD’s Strategic Group 1: Reducing Climate and Environmental Risks’ Action Area A: Managing Cryosphere and Water Risks under the ‘Building capabilities for Green, Climate Resilient, and Inclusive Development in the Lower Koshi Basin’ (HI-GRID) project funded by Australian Aid.


  • Identify challenges: Identify challenges, and needs faced by people with disabilities, especially in the face of disaster and regarding disaster preparedness and response.
  • Policy analysis: Examine existing national policies and legal frameworks related to disability rights and inclusion at the national and local levels and identify opportunities and gaps.
  • Local government action: Discuss the roles and responsibilities of local governments in promoting gender and disability inclusion within disaster risk reduction (DRR) planning and budgeting, aligned with GEDSI priorities.

Expected outcomes

  • Increased understanding of the specific needs and challenges faced by people with disabilities and approaches to mainstream disability in policies and programmes
  • A comprehensive review of existing national policies and legal frameworks related to disability inclusion in the context of the LKB
  • Actionable recommendations and strategies for local governments to implement GEDSI inclusive DRR plans and budgeting that prioritise the needs of people with disabilities
  • Identify approaches for strengthening strategic partnership between people with disabilities organisations/networks and government stakeholders, for promoting a more inclusive approach to DRR plan and budgeting process


People with disabilities, particularly women, face unique challenges in their daily lives which are further exacerbated during and after disasters. The Lower Koshi Basin in Nepal is a highly vulnerable region within the Hindu Kush Himalaya that faces the dual challenges of Too Much and Too Little (TMTL) water. The risks of TMTL, exacerbated by the escalating impacts of climate change, environmental degradation, and socio-economic disparities, disproportionately affect people with disabilities.

The Lower Koshi Basin’s vulnerability to floods and droughts create a dangerous reality for People with disabilities. During water-related disasters, women with disabilities face challenges that intensify their vulnerability. Limited mobility restricts their ability to evacuate swiftly or access safe areas during floods or droughts, heightening the risk of harm or being stranded. Communication barriers, such as the absence of sign language interpretation, impede their access to vital information and aid, hindering informed decision-making and help-seeking. Moreover, emergency shelters often lack accessibility features, like ramps or adapted toilets, exacerbating their vulnerability. Health and hygiene needs go unaddressed, with limited access to clean water, sanitation, and healthcare services, leading to heightened health risks. The increased risk of gender-based violence, including exploitation and harassment, further compounds their vulnerability due to dependence on caregivers and limited protection measures. Social and economic marginalisation aggravates these challenges, as discrimination based on both gender and disability status limits access to resources, economic opportunities, and social support networks, leaving them disproportionately vulnerable during disasters.