The issue explained

People with a physical disability or frailty are often excluded from using water points and toilet blocks because they can't easily access them.

Many more are excluded from using water and sanitation facilities through direct discrimination, due to their colour, caste, age, disability, social status or gender. The same groups of people are often marginalised, and their voices go unheard when decisions are made on their behalf.

We seek to tackle exclusion and marginalisation wherever it occurs, and we try to ensure that the principle of ‘equity and inclusion’ is at the heart of everything we do, from having accessible office buildings to tackling discrimination and bad design at the water pump.

  • Equity is the principle of fairness. It involves recognising that different people have different needs and no-one should be discriminated against or put at a disadvantage.

  • Inclusion is ensuring that everyone is able to participate fully. It can involve improving the design of toilets and water points so they are usable by everyone, and also supporting people in demanding their rights and getting their voices heard, regardless of their social status.

Our approach

Tackling discrimination, marginalisation and exclusion is not always straight-forward.

The first step is to raise awareness and understanding – among staff and local partners – by training people through workshops.

Once we are aware of and better able to appreciate the issues, we are much better placed to tackle them:

  • In our programme work, we deliberately focus on the most marginalised and excluded groups in society – women, children, people with disabilities, older people, people living with chronic illness, and people from minority groups. We recognise that their needs are greatest.
  • When we install new toilet blocks or water points, we have strict design guidelines to ensure they are accessible by all.
  • Across our organisation as a whole, we try and ensure that the principles of equity and inclusion are incorporated across all areas of policy, strategy and action.
A woman in a wheelchair approaches a toilet.