Disability Inclusive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene In Cambodia

Disability can happen to anyone — knows no gender, chooses no one, may you be in the highest pedestal of the society or one of the common masses, highly intelligent or street smart. People with disability are going through a lot of difficulties and they are putting up a greater deal of societal stigma especially if they are residing in country with unstable economic health like Cambodia.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank’s World Report on Disability (2011), about 15% of the world’s population are living with a disability and based on 2004 Cambodian Socio-Economic Survey, approximately 4% of Cambodia population are people with disability. This is largely due to the country being a post-conflict, explosions in landmines, and road traffic accidents. And despite the many NGO’s who are working hard, there are still inadequate services for adults and children with disabilities especially in the rural areas. This situation reached the concerned eyes of our friends at Engineers Without Borders Australia and together we, Enable Development, worked with them in delivering a Disability Inclusive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) training of trainers for Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation (CDPO).

Disability Inclusive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is a two – week long intensive training delivered last June 2015 at Cambodia. It aims to educate the rural and poor communities get an opportunity to enjoy a proper sanitation and hygiene situation especially the people with disabilities through Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation (CDPO). We all know that the needs of people with disability hasn’t been fully addressed especially in the subject of proper sanitation solutions; which must not be the case since they are also members of the community.

Disability Inclusive Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is a collaboration between Engineers Without Borders Australia, Enable Development, Agile Development Group, local WASH NGO’s, Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) and community members in Cambodia and targets to deliver proper sanitation and hygiene solutions accessible by people with disabilities.

 

One of the workshop participants working through design to assist wheelchair users transferring onto a toilet in the design activity. Photo courtesy of Engineers Without Borders.
One of the workshop participants working through design to assist wheelchair users transferring onto a toilet in the design activity. Photo courtesy of Engineers Without Borders.

 

A fun activity with CDPO potential trainers to improve body language for facilitation.
A fun activity with CDPO potential trainers to improve body language for facilitation.

 

The use of our Enabled Learning Kit during the workshop.
The use of our Enabled Learning Kit during the workshop.

 

A group photo of all participants and training facilitators and the end of a successful disability inclusive WASH workshop. Photo courtesy of Engineers Without Borders.
A group photo of all participants and training facilitators and the end of a successful disability inclusive WASH workshop. Photo courtesy of Engineers Without Borders.

 

Overall, the training went well and knowledge and experiences were shared as expected. Below are some of the feedback the team received from our training at Cambodia (translated from Khmer):

“Some practical information help me as well as other participants to get more idea and the most important part is the inclusive development design, it helps me to build toilet for myself and the whole community.”

“I will engage more with the attending organisations to share information and experiences. I will talk to people about inclusive development, and how they can incorporate “inclusive” solutions.”

“Try to integrate inclusive design toilet to WASH project. Training staff and community people to understand about inclusive design”

“Very useful and insightful training. I am more confident to ask vulnerable people whether they will need help and if they do I can ask how.”

“CDPO should have more training about PWD for other NGO in Cambodia”