Tag Archives: inclusive WASH

Making progress towards inclusive sanitation and hygiene for sexual and gender minorities

Making progress towards inclusive sanitation and hygiene for sexual and gender minorities. by Alice Webb, Sanitation Learning Hub, December 2020.

As we move closer to the 2030 target for sustainable and safely managed sanitation and hygiene for all, it feels like we’re starting to make progress on including certain groups of people in our work. We’ve seen an enormous effort to break down taboos and stigma, with growing awareness of sanitation issues relating to menstrual health and hygiene, disability, sanitation workers and most recently for us, people who experience incontinence.

While we continue those valuable conversations, it is time now to think about who we’re not talking about enough, about who is in danger of being left behind in the drive for sanitation and hygiene for all. It seems we have a long way to go, in terms of including, among other groups, sexual and gender minorities in our work on sanitation and hygiene.

It is, no doubt, a challenging topic to address. In 13 countries, it’s against the law to be transgender, including countries where we, at SLH, are currently working or have worked in the past. Elsewhere, sexual and gender minorities face harassment, violence and ridicule when accessing toilets. Here in the UK, we have a long way to go, at both cultural and institutional levels.

Bearing this in mind, programming needs to be extra vigilant for potential safeguarding issues and follow ‘do no harm’ principles very carefully. In addition, we need to bear in mind we’re talking about individuals who may experience intersectional discrimination due to characteristics such as race, class, disability and refugee status. We also need to consider the diversity of identities within sexual and gender minorities, who may face different challenges relating to their specific identity, (for example, intersex people can face non-consensual surgical procedures and unnecessary medical interventions).

Read the complete article.

WSSCC, World Bank and Partners Call for Inclusive Sanitation

WSSCC, World Bank and Partners Call for Inclusive Sanitation. IISD SDG Knowledge Hub, September 26, 2017.  iisd-logo


  • The WSSCC commissioned an independent study, which finds that disadvantaged individuals, including those with mental health and addiction issues, sex workers, and people with disabilities, lack equitable access to sanitation services.
  • The UN released a series of videos to promote awareness of the human right to water and sanitation.
  • The World Bank, with other development agencies, issued a call for city-wide inclusive sanitation.

September 2017: A Water Supply Sanitation and Collaborative Council (WSSCC) independent study has found that disadvantaged individuals, including those with mental health and addiction issues, sex workers, and people with disabilities, lack equitable access to sanitation services.

In parallel, the UN has released a series of videos to promote awareness of the human right to water and sanitation, while the World Bank and other development agencies have issued a joint call for city-wide inclusive sanitation.

The WSSCC study was based on a document review and assessment of WSSCC programmes in six countries – Ethiopia, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.

Read the complete article.

Equality and non-discrimination (EQND) in sanitation programmes at scale (part 1)

Equality and non-discrimination (EQND) in sanitation programmes at scale (part 1 of 2), August 2017Frontiers10coverSarah House, Sue Cavill and Suzanne Ferron. CLTS Knowledge Hub.

A well-facilitated Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme that pro-actively considers and involves people who might be disadvantaged has been shown to have many benefits.  A lack of this can and will often have negative impacts and make programmes and ODF unsustainable.

This issue of Frontiers of CLTS looks at who should be considered potentially disadvantaged, how they can effectively participate and what may be needed to address diverse needs in order to make processes and outcomes sustainable and inclusive.

Using a range of examples from GSF programmes that were part of a recent study on Equality and Non-Discrimination, it explores the challenges that may occur and concludes with suggested good practices that will strengthen the processes to the benefit of all.

Handbook on Accessible Household Sanitation for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs)

Handbook on Accessible Household Sanitation for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), 2015. Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Swachh Barat Mission.

As part of the national effort to include everyone, everywhere to access improved sanitation and to provide equal opportunities for persons with disabilities (PwDs), the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS), Government of India launched the ‘Handbook on Accessible Household Sanitation facilities for Persons with Disabilities’ in association with WaterAid India in December 2015.


Hygiene needs of incontinence sufferers

A desk-based review of how WASH actors can better address the hygiene needs of people living with urinary and/or faecal incontinence in developing countries was conducted with funding from WaterAid UK/SHARE in late 2015.

Incontinence products for men

Incontinence products for men. Illustration from the report

The report outlines what incontinence is and how people generally manage their incontinence, as well as relevant experiences and guidance from within the development and humanitarian spheres (related to incontinence as well as other areas such as menstrual hygiene managemant (MHM) and inclusive WASH). The report also provides recommendations on how to better support the hygiene and WASH needs of those people suffering from incontinence.

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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 – 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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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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