Tag Archives: disability

Linking WASH to other development sectors – Thematic discussion: 24th October – 12th November 2016

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) Community of Practice on Sanitation and Hygiene in Developing Countries and the Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation at Mzuzu University (Malawi) are holding a joint 3-week thematic discussion on linking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to other development sectors. The LinkedIn hosted CoP has over 6,200 members each working in WASH and other related sectors; this thematic discussion will be an opportunity to bring together sector practitioners and researchers to share knowledge, learn from each other, identify best practice and explore how WASH and other development sectors can collaborate in this SDG era.

The thematic discussion will take place on the CoP; with a coordinator moderating the discussions. The discussion will be split into three inter-linked sub-themes and conversation leaders will frame and prompt debates each week on:

  • 24 – 30 October – Theme 1: WASH and Nutrition – At a grassroots level, WASH and nutrition are not often combined, what are some examples of successful merging of these themes? What about the health impact and the perceptions and views of communities? If you had one area of WASH and nutrition which makes the biggest impact to focus on, what would it be?


  • 31 October – 6 November – Theme 2: WASH and Disability – What are the barriers to accessing WASH people with disabilities in developing countries? Is standard CLTS inclusive?  How can schools in developing countries be more accessible?  What are some examples of successful merging of these two themes?


  • 7 – 12 November – Theme 3: Climate Change and WASH –What are some of the local strategies in place to strengthen climate change resiliency and WASH objectives? If an ODF community build a pit latrine by cutting down old growth trees, have we made a positive or negative impact at a community level? Are there more innovative ways looking at not only the environment and human dimensions of these problems? What are some examples of successful merging of these two themes by field practitioners?

2016-10_thematic_discussions-week3_eflyerJoin us for the discussion with some of the following thematic experts:

  • Megan Wilson-Jones, Policy Analyst: Health & Hygiene, WaterAid for WASH and Nutrition discussion
  • Adam Biran and Sian White, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Mavuto Tembo, Mzuzu University, Malawi

Weekly summaries of discussions will be posted on CoP as well as a synthesis report of overarching findings at the end.

To participate in the discussion, please join here:

WSSCC Community of Practice: www.linkedin.com/grp/home?gid=1238187

We look forward to some constructive and in-depth discussions!

Making WASH facilities accessible for the disabled and elderly

Horizontal handrail the full width of the door on the inside. Internal bolt.

Horizontal handrail the full width of the door on the inside. Internal bolt. Credit: WaterAid/Stephen Sagawa

WaterAid has published a compendium of low-cost technologies to improve the accessibility of household WASH facilities for the disabled and elderly in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. There are sections on reaching facilities, latrines, bathing, waterpoints and handwashing. It can be used by staff such as health workers and community volunteers.

Cover - Compedium of accessible WASH technologies

The compendium and all images in it are free to download at: www.wateraid.org/accessibleWASHtechnologies

Related web sites:

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on Inclusive WASH

Issue 127 December 20, 2013 | Focus on Inclusive WASH

Many thanks to Shamila Jansz from WaterAid who contributed many of the reports, training materials, etc. to this issue on inclusive water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). The resources fall under the following categories: fact sheets, stories from the field, training resources, reports, journal articles, conference papers, and websites. Reports and videos from Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Nepal, Uganda, and other countries are also included.

If you haven’t done so already, the WASHplus Knowledge Management (KM) team would appreciate your comments and suggestions about WASHplus KM services. The link to the KM survey is https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3G7SH7C.


Briefing Note on WASH and People with Disabilities and Leprosy, 2013. WaterAid/Ethiopia. (Link)
Using case studies from a WaterAid/Ethiopia-supported project, this briefing note discusses the links between WASH and disability and leprosy.

Factsheet: WASH and HIV, 2013. WaterAid; StopAIDS Coalition. (Link)
This fact sheet sets out to explain the connection between WASH and HIV and AIDS, and provides recommendations on how HIV interventions can integrate WASH into their programming.

Inclusive WASH Development: Technology Adaptations for Persons with Disabilities, 2013. N Kamban. (Link)
It is the objective of this briefing paper to describe the findings, recommendations, and guidelines for inclusive WASH development gleaned from experience with the Africa WASH & Disabilities Study.


A Difficult Journey to Toilet, 2013. WaterAid/Nepal. (Video)
In Nepal more than 500,000 people live with disability. This video tells the story of the 350,000 disabled who do not have access to toilets. For example, in Kathmandu, no public toilets are designated disabled-friendly.

Kenya: Four Stories from the Field, 2013. WASHplus.
String, Jug, & a Bucket | Community Volunteers | Simple Actions | Innovative Solution |
WASHplus is helping communities in Kenya make the connection between healthy hygiene habits and improved sanitation and positive outcomes for people living with HIV and AIDs and their families.

Undoing Inequity: Inclusive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programmes that Deliver for All, 2013. WaterAid; SHARE. (Video)
This video discusses the cost of inclusive WASH service delivery in Uganda. A SHARE-funded WaterAid project reaches out to all community members who struggle to use standard WASH facilities—persons with disability, the elderly, and the chronically ill— in hopes of moving them up the sanitation ladder along with the rest of their neighbors.

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Undoing inequity: water, sanitation and hygiene programmes that deliver for all

UK Under Secretary of State for International Development Lynne Featherstone visiting SHARE-funded Undoing Inequity programme in Uganda. Photo: SHARE/WaterAid

WaterAid is currently carrying out a SHARE-funded action research project in Zambia and Uganda in collaboration with WEDC and the Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre (LCD), called Undoing Inequity: water, sanitation and hygiene programmes that deliver for all.  The project aims to generate rigorous evidence about how a lack of safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) impacts on the lives of disabled, older persons and people living with a chronic illness; understand the barriers they face, develop and test an inclusive WASH approach to address those barriers and influence key policy and decision makers to mainstream inclusive WASH within development.

As part of this project, Hazel Jones (WEDC) has written a report titled Mainstreaming disability and ageing in water, sanitation and hygiene programmes.  This report recognises that progress on the MDGs is not happening in an equitable way.  A drive for increasing coverage of basic services, such as WASH has meant that people who are ‘harder to reach’, such as disabled and older people often remain un-served.

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Undoing Inequity – Investigating the Cost of Inclusive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Service Delivery

This video investigates the cost of having in place inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene services in Uganda. A team of WaterAid and partner staff carried out an accessibility audit on water and sanitation facilities constructed by the community in the districts of Amuria and Katakwi north east Uganda after being trained on making water, sanitation and hygiene services accessible to the disabled , the elderly and people with chronic sicknesses.

This research project aims at understanding barriers faced by persons with disability, chronically ill and elderly when attempting to use standard water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.

It is interesting to see how local communities are using the knowledge acquired to make innovations using locally available materials to put in place inclusive water and sanitation facilities. This is a clear indication that when local communities are given the right information, they can drive their own change and priorities.

May 8, 2013 Webinar – Removing Barriers to WASH by the RWSN equity and inclusion group

The RWSN equity and inclusion group is pleased to announce its latest webinar on Removing Barriers to WASH. If you would like to attend, please inform ShamilaJansz@wateraid.org. For more details, see below:  wateraid-logo

Description: WEDC and WaterAid have developed a new set of ‘Equity and Inclusion in WASH’ learning materials.

We have been collaborating to develop practical training materials for WASH practitioners, to help them analyse and address the problems faced by the most disadvantaged people in accessing WASH services. Extensively field-tested by WaterAid and WEDC in Africa and Asia, the materials are participatory and interactive, and are ideal to facilitate practical collaboration and problem-solving between disabled people and technical service providers. They can be used as stand-alone activities, or as part of a broader training programme. Although rooted in the social model of disability, the scope of the analysis framework has been broadened to encompass exclusion of all kinds. This makes the materials useful in building alliances with groups working on other issues, e.g. gender, HIV, ageing.

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WaterAid Australia – Towards Inclusive WASH: Sharing evidence and experience from the field.

Towards Inclusive WASH: Sharing evidence and experience from the field, 2012. WaterAid Australia. 

This new publication is a record of the WASH sector’s efforts to achieve equity and inclusion in programming around the world. The publication includes one keynote paper by Hazel Jones (WEDC) and Louisa Gosling (WaterAid UK) and 16 case studies from a wide range of organisations in 13 countries and with examples from urban, rural and school WASH programming. The case studies provide stories of policy, technology and process innovations through four lenses: Poorest of the poor, Living with HIV and AIDS, Disability and Gender.

We hope that this publication can provide some inspiration for development practitioners around the world who want to build equity and inclusion into their WASH programming and also for those who aspire to incorporate water, sanitation and hygiene outcomes into their programming in the HIV, disability or other sectors.

Inclusive WASH free learning portal

WaterAid in Australia, in collaboration with the WASH Reference Group, is  hosting five online learning sessions and a learning workshop on inclusive WASH. The first session started on 30 October 2011 and the programme will end with the learning workshop in May 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.

A recording of the first introductory webinar is now online. The second learning session on gender runs until 18 November 2011. Following sessions will be on the disabled, HIV/AIDS and chronic illness, and the poorest of the poor.

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WaterAid – Disability and the WASH sector

What the Global Report on Disability means for the WASH sector. 2011. WaterAid.

Download Full-text (pdf)

This report gives an overview of the information relevant to the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector in the world’s first report on disability. It also highlights how WaterAid is addressing the recommendations in the report, as well as where we could develop our approaches further.

Disabled people represent the largest socially excluded group globally and most live without access to basic sanitary services, which can exacerbate impairments and poverty. However, so far disabled people have typically been excluded from development intervention and research.

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India, Jharkhand: with access to the toilet came access to dignity

This Government of India programme offers incentives for families below the poverty line to construct toilets with technical designs approved by the District Water and Sanitation Mission (DWSM) responsible for sanitation.

However, the evidence is that people with special needs, or the differently abled are being left out, since even if their families have toilets, these are not user friendly or appropriate. This means that, despite the programme designed to be ‘total’, there is not really universal access and not all people can live with dignity.

To enhance the inclusiveness of access and to sensitise the service providers and the community on the need for inclusive approaches in planning, design and implementation, several initiatives were undertaken by the Regional Office East for the state of Jharkhand along with Gram Jyoti, a partner of WaterAid. All this was possible because of one person, Jitendra Turi of Sisanathur village, Jharkhand who proved to be really special.

Jitendra suffers from multiple disabilities, with locomotor, visual and mental impairments. He comes from a Scheduled Caste (‘lower caste’ in India) family and lives with his parents. Even at the age of 25, he is still dependent on his mother for most activities. He is not a child and cannot go to school and he cannot participate in village activities.

The family did not have a toilet at home, unaware of its importance in reducing dependency and increasing dignity for their son so that he could lead as normal a life as possible. For defecation, his mother usually took him to the outskirts of the village. Sometimes, when was unable to take him out, she would ask him to defecate in a corner of the village lane, which earned him the ridicule of children and villagers. “I felt such shame in telling my mother to help me for defecation. I am grown up but how can I go out? I cannot see, nor am I able to walk,” recalls Jitendra.

Read the full story about Jitendra by Meeta Jaruhar from WaterAid India in Source Bulletin, May 2010