130614 Undoing inequity: Inclusive WASH, Uganda and Zambia. Background Brief

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

Key Findings 

  • Disabled, chronically ill and older adults in Zambia and Uganda face common physical, attitudinal and intuitional barriers to accessing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). 
  • A significant percentage help fetch water but face considerable difficulties because of distance, inaccessible water points and difficulties in carrying water. 
  • Current storage arrangements for water in households, latrine structures and bathing arrangements are inaccessible for many. Simple adaptations could improve accessibility, allowing greater independence and choice for vulnerable persons and lessening the amount of time carers spend on assisting with routine activities. 
  • Many who need help getting water, going to the latrine or bathing routinely limit such activities so they do not overtax caregivers. (I.e.: go thirsty, wait to eat until later in the day so they do not have to use the latrine before someone is home to help them, bathe less frequently than other household members). Such actions have serious health implications as well as concerns regarding rights and dignity. 
  • In both Uganda and Zambia, three quarters of the carers reported providing assistance ‘many times’ or  ‘always’ during the day. 41% plan daily schedules around providing care and most of these activities are WASH related. 
  • The majority of vulnerable individuals interviewed were interested in minor, low cost adaptations to increase accessibility of WASH facilities. 
  • Heads of households and vulnerable members expressed interest in adaptations to improve accessibility, but many do not know where to start. Information and technical support is needed.