Delivering WATSAN services to disable people WEDC 2003

Delivering WATSAN services to disabled people

WEDC Paper submitted to S Asia Sanitation Conference, Dhaka, October 2003

An analysis of available information and opinion has found that disabled people in low-income communities are routinely excluded by water and sanitation projects, due primarily to external barriers – in the environ-ment, infrastructure and institutional practices, rather than to disabled people’s own limitations. There is a lack of awareness and understand-ing about disability among the majority of service providers, which is compounded by an absence of appropriate and available information that would enable them to take practical steps to improve access for dis-abled people.
These findings are based on an initial situation analysis, including litera-ture review, e-conference and a questionnaire circulated globally. Ex-amples from Bangladesh have been used as illustration.
Water and sanitation service providers have a key role to play in reduc-ing barriers to disabled people’s participation in daily activities, and thus relieving their poverty and isolation. Planners and service providers therefore need to consult and include disabled people at all stages of the project cycle.