Trends/News

UPHLS WASH INTERVENTION FOR PWDs

1. Our Approach
Is built on the principle that having access to better water, hygiene and sanitation programmes is vital for human beings to promote their well-being and living condition. It is a respect of PWDs rights and dignity as well.
2. Disability inclusion in WASH programming
-  Applying universal design principles to WASH will create greater inclusion for all community members including people with a disability, pregnant women and the elderly. These focus on good design which is accessible to all
-  The lack of access to infrastructure and the fear of being in humiliating situations to perform the basic needs and private can cause a lower level compared to hygiene. Various barriers can hinder access basic sanitation for people with disabilities.
-  Increasing accessible WASH facilities in community settings and schools will improve broader education and life outcomes for people with a disability.
-  Disability-Inclusive WASH services will also reduce work load of families in care-giving tasks. Ensuring inclusion of people with a disability in community-awareness activities will reduce the rate of acquiring and spreading disease.
3. IN LINE WITH SDG
Rwanda has adopted the objectives of Sustainable development in 2016. Goal 6, 12 and 17 of the SDGs provides for guarantee everyone access to water and sanitation and ensure sustainable management of resources water. In their targets, State Parties plans for 2030 aiming to provide all with access proper Water, Hygiene and Sanitation services, under fair and adequate conditions, to end open defecation, paying attention particularly to the needs of people in a vulnerable situation, including persons with disabilities.
• Social isolation and taboos limiting people with a disabilities from accessing appropriate WASH services remain critical in the Rwandan context.
• Lack of assistive and supportive devices limit persons with disabilities from using existing available resources, thus exposed to acquiring and/or transferring diseases.
• Inaccessible or distant water sources can force people with disabilities to depend on others for water collection, hygiene and sanitation.
• People with mobility difficulties, hearing or visual impairments need accessible and safe latrines as well as hygiene facilities in order to better accommodate their needs.
4. Reasons for PWDs inclusion in WASH programs
• Improved access to WASH services help to address the complex and multi-dimensional nature of poverty and vulnerability for PwDs.
• Inclusive WASH services can help to reduce Neglected Tropical Diseases, including diarrhoea, typhoid, amibia, malaria and can improve livelihoods and lives of PwDs in the Rwandan society.
• Where marginalised populations are excluded from services, costly alternatives absorb funds which poor people could otherwise use for productive activities and savings, so PwDs are likely to be affected by endless poverty.
Our Current Action
• UPHLS with expertise on inclusive WASH services in order to provide line ministries,MININFRA, MoH, WASAC, schools and CSO with technical guidance on appropriate water facilities, hygiene promotion and self-care practices for persons with disabilities.
• UPHLS developed IEC handouts (posters, deliverables, banners, flyers, etc.) for enabling the Rwandan community to better understand the inclusion and access of persons with disabilities to WASH services. Outreach programmes on WASH campaigns and dissemination of key information (for instance management of the menstruation period, adaptation of WASH services, use of inclusive WASH services, to name only few) should be reinforced.
• Technical support to review standards and benchmarks to fit the needs of PwDs in the local context, based on ISO. For example, child and little people sized toilet, accessible ramps, toilet grab bars, transportable jerry cans, pans, basins, etc.
• UPHLS to promote Holistic and Integrated approaches to promoting inclusive WASH services for persons with disabilities (health, education, HIV care, AIDS treatment, gender equality and environment) and help overcome cultural taboos around.

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