100727 Disability and Rural Water Sanitation and Hygiene Timor Leste
Disability and Rural Water Sanitation and Hygiene Timor Leste
Disability means an inability to function in areas where others are able. The impact of a disability is
individual and depends upon how the person adapts to their disability and how they function. A disability
can influence access to education and employment, relationships, transport and basic activities of daily
living - bathing, toileting, cooking, eating, dressing, washing clothes and cleaning. Disability has many
social and cultural impacts. People with disability often experience alienation and stigma due to
community misunderstanding and fear.
There is very little data existing on disability in Timor Leste, but previous surveys indicate that less than
two percent of the population suffer from a disability. Globally, people with disability comprise an
estimated ten percent of any population, so it seems that the current figures in Timor Leste are grossly
understated. It is hoped that the 2010 population census will reveal more accurately the disability situation
in Timor Leste.
Qualitative information was gathered from 15 people with disability, 2 technical experts and one disabled
people’s group, using semi-structured interviews. Issues raised for RWASH agencies covered a number
of areas, primarily being the promotion of inclusive programs, the importance of community and agency
education about disability, the necessity for consultation and partnership, the priority of access for all, and
understanding about disability hygiene and the importance of water for women.