19 November, 2014 - Briana Wilson
Briana is one of CBM Australia’s Technical Advisors. She works within the Inclusive Development department to promote the rights of people living with disabilities in some of the world’s poorest countries.
Did you know 1 in 3 people in the world don’t have access to a safe and decent toilet?
For people with disability accessing a toilet can be even more challenging. For example, listen to Abena from Ghana talk about how she had to crawl through the bush to go to the toilet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCqlHAK9-MI
At CBM Australia the Inclusive Development Department has been busy working with partners to ensure people with disabilities are included in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs. One of these projects is with WaterAid in Papua New Guinea.
CBM Austalia is working with WaterAid to ensure that people with disabilities are included in village level WASH projects. I have been working with a gender consultant to also ensure men and women participate equally. The aim is to ensure that everyone has a say in how the project is run, including what types of toilets the community would like, where toilets and water points should be, and how the community will manage the often scarce fresh water.
Participation in decision making ensures that all members of the community gain access to water, sanitation and hygiene behaviour change. Critical to this approach is working with the local Disabled People’s Organisation, to ensure that people with disabilities are included, and that their rights are recognised in their villages.
It’s an exciting program to be involved in, as access to water, sanitation and a decent standard of living are such core human rights. Access to these fundamentals is especially important for people with disabilities, who are often missed in these projects. The good community development processes that WASH projects use are also a perfect vehicle for ensuring that people with disabilities are recognised as valuable, contributing members of their communities. It’s great to see our colleagues in the WASH sector partnering with Disabled People’s Organisations and working towards the vision of a more inclusive world.
If you would like to learn more about World Toilet Day, please visit http://www.wateraid.org/au/get-involved/world-toilet-day