Since 2005, travelers like you have helped us change the world through micro-donations.
A total of
to help improve
Water & Sanitation
In Cambodia, people with disabilities are often among the poorest of the poor, are less likely to attend school and are more likely to depend on others for their livelihood. These factors, along with experiences of stigma and discrimination, act as barriers to being included in community water, sanitation and hygiene services. Women with disabilities in Cambodia may experience a ‘triple burden’ of discrimination based on being a woman living with a disability and being among the poorest in the community.
Accessing safe water and sanitation can be a greater challenge for people with disabilities as they may have difficulty getting to or using a water point or latrine. They may also be left out of community processes because they do not hear about the event or are unable to get to and from community meetings, or because the promotion methods are not appropriate for people with vision or hearing impairments.
Inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene occurs when the entire community, including people with a disability, the elderly, pregnant women, ethnic minorities and other marginalised groups benefit and participate equally from water, sanitation and hygiene programs, services and processes. Inclusive approaches to water, sanitation and hygiene encourage awareness of and participation by all marginalised groups.
As with all WaterAid projects, we work with a number of partners to en-sure we are able to successfully deliver our projects; including local, district and national government agencies; service providers; implementing partners, and of course the community itself. Starting with the Cambodian Government, we continue to work with them to raise their support and understanding of water, sanitation and hygiene particularly as it relates to equity and inclusion, and to ensure they include people with disabilities into their national action plans.
During this project, we engaged local NGO’s Disability Development Services Program (DDSP) and Clear Cambodia. Throughout the project, we met regularly with our partners to discuss better ways of working together and we sought and shared information such as improved access to health care and disabled toilet and water filter designs.
Sovannary is 45 years old; she has three children and lives with her husband in Thkov village, Pursat province, Cambodia. Sovannary has been unable to walk properly since contracting a leg infection 30 years ago. In addition to her disability, Sovannary’s husband lacks secure employment. At best, the household monthly income is only AUD$50. This is not enough to send Sovannary’s youngest daughter to school and the family often goes without proper meals.
Sovannary told WaterAid that all her difficulties were so much harder to overcome by not having access to safe clean water and toilets. For example, having a disability meant she was unable to walk the long distances required to collect water. Without water, she was unable to care for her garden and grow enough fruit and vegetables to feed her family meaning her family often went without meals. The only water supply the family had access to was dirty and unsafe, and this meant members of Sovannary’s family often became sick. When her husband was sick, he was unable to work, and there was certainly no money to buy proper medicine.
Thanks to the disability inclusive water and sanitation project, WaterAid has built a water-well in Sovannary’s town. The well is located close to Sovanary’s home and the entire family is now able to access safe, clean water and toilets.
Sovannnary told us that having access to water has changed her life. Despite her disability, Sovannary is proud she is able to contribute to the wellbeing of her and family and community. Her family now earns up to $50 a day, a marked improvement from $50 a month. With a reliable and constant supply of water, Sovannary is able care for her garden like never before. Not only does she have enough food to feed her family, she is now selling surplus produce such as, cucumbers and snake beans to local markets. With a more reliable income, Sovannary is now able to pay the fees to send her youngest daughter to school.
Sovannary told WaterAid she dreams of sending all her three children to study at university in the hope that they will all secure good jobs and be able to provide for themselves well into future.
Although the water component of this project is complete, WaterAid will facilitate monthly community group meetings and work with the community to ensure people with disabilities continue to access their new water supply, toilets and are included in daily community life. This includes, equipping the community with skills to maintain their water-well to ensure sustainability.
Not at this time.