Nepal WASH Blog Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) & Development in Nepal

April 29, 2013

Targeting attitudinal and institutional barriers

Not too long ago, high steps, narrow doors and other physical obstacles were considered to be the only barriers for people with disabilities to access water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities. Service providers set about creating accessible WASH facilities focused on removing these barriers. They began to build toilets and water taps that were easy to reach, installed ramps for wheelchair users and widened toilet doors. These actions have certainly helped to make facilities more accessible for people with disabilities, but alone they have not proved to be sustainable solutions for inclusion.

Many people with disabilities are denied their right to WASH due to a different kind of barrier – attitudes. Attitudinal barriers relate to people’s perspectives towards disability; for example, people with disabilities are often viewed as ‘sick’ or ‘needy’, and providing WASH facilities for them is seen as an act of charity rather than an essential part of every programme. These barriers are due to cultural and social beliefs or taboos that have been present in society for many years. (more…)

April 26, 2013

Taps and toilets help girls stay in school

Taps and toilets help girls stay in school

We all know how important pens and books are in schools. But less well known is how important water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities are too. Schoolgirls in particular find it difficult to stay in school if there is a lack of clean, safe toilets. Without these basic facilities, the gender ratio of school-going children will never be balanced.

In Nepal, girls are treated differently to boys from early childhood, due to social and cultural beliefs. As a result, they tend to be shy, and find it hard to use mixed toilets. Mixed toilets often lack the necessary facilities for menstural hygiene management, leaving them nowhere to clean or dispose of their sanitary pads. As a result, many girls miss school or drop out completely, affecting their academic performance and limiting their options as adults. (more…)

April 25, 2013

Photo of the week – 25 April 2013

Filed under: Drinking water,Photo of the week,Rural — nepalwash @ 6:02 pm

Dambar Kumari Pulami – 69, Tosramkhola VDC, Sindhuli District Nepal: “My grand children's future will be much better as the clean water is accessible near home. They will not have hard life like us. Now they know lots of things about sanitation and hygiene. I can also tell them to wash hands before eating and after playing. The new generation is also very quick to grasp and understand these issues.” WaterAid/ Mani Karmacharya, February 2013

April 24, 2013

South Asia Regional Campaign on Sanitation

Recently, I got the opportunity to take part in a rally to put pressure on the Government to take the issues of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) more seriously. The rally was part of the South Asia Regional campaign on Sanitation. held on 19 March in Kathmandu.

The campaign was joined by school students, teachers, journalists, representatives from different non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Members of Parliament from countries in the South Asia region and high level government authorities from Nepal. The rally urged the South Asian governments to keep their promises on sanitation. Two members of the UK House of the Lords were also present and walked together with more than thousand other participants to show support for the cause.

I was amazed and encouraged to see a significant number of people with disabilities present at the campaign as people with disabilities are often not represented by issue-based organisations. But WaterAid in Nepal, who co-hosted the campaign, are committed to including people with disabilities in campaign activities. They invited the National Federation for the Disabled, Nepal (NFDN) and the umbrella organisation of all disability public organisations (DPOs) to the events.

(more…)

April 22, 2013

Access for all

Progress  towards universal access to water and sanitation is being made. The Government of Nepal recently passed a directive to ensure that all public spaces – from schools and colleges to hotels and banks – must be accessible to disabled people.

Public bathrooms and toilets are included in the plans and the announcement means that all new facilities must be built with ramps and accessible paths. Inside, grab rails, accessible shelves and commodes should be available, ensuring that users will not have to strain or squat to use the facilities, which is painful or impossible for many people with disabilites.

Access to water has also been included in the directive, which states that public taps must be installed at heights that allow people who use a wheelchair to reach them. Water should also not be allowed to spill on the floor, which could be dangerous for people with physical disabilies. Ramps and rails must be installed to allow wheelchair users to access facilities and doors must open with space for people with physical disabilities to move safely and with dignity.

The changes will mean that facilities must be constructed with disabled people in mind and will encourage equal access to safe water and sanitation for everyone.

The post is written by Mr Sagar Prasai – sagarDOTprasain@gmailDOTcom

This blog was created by WaterAid under the creative commons licence