WATERAID: Access Disabled

WaterAid Nepal has stressed the need to recognize inclusive WASH rights to ensure dignified lives of persons with disabilities

Dec. 26, 2014, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 08 No. -13 December. 26- 2014 (Poush 11, 2071)

At a time when efforts are going on for the Universal Access to Safe Water and Sanitation to all by 2017, only a few steps have been taken to provide access to a large numbers of people with disability.

Access to sanitation and water has increased in Nepal drastically in the last few years with almost a universal of access for all to water and, for over 60 percent of the population, to sanitation. However, the people with disabilities cannot enjoy their right to water and sanitation because of the inaccessible infrastructure, mainly the taps and toilets, at private houses, at housing colonies and at public places.

WaterAid Nepal organized a workshop with the overall objective of enhancing the awareness about inclusive toilets and to keep the disability and WASH issues into development planning and implementation.

Participated in by civil society leaders, municipal officials, builders and people with disabilities, the event helped raise the awareness among the people about the needs of disabled-friendly toilets and inclusive toilets for equal access and implementation.

The participants expressed that the situation in rural areas is much worse as most of the people with disabilities there live without their access to water and sanitation.

According to a study by NGO Forum for Urban Water Sanitation 2011, there are about 61 public toilets but not a single one of them is disabled friendly. This showed the grim picture of access to sanitation in Nepal.

WaterAid Nepal stresses that the Universal Access to safe water and sanitation services by 2017 cannot be equitably met unless the needs of people with disabilities of all ages are addressed. Thus, inclusive and accessible water and sanitation facilities for people with disabilities should be a priority in all WASH initiatives.

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