New international development report includes all our recommendations on disability

Today’s International Development Select Committee Report on Disability and Development prioritises putting disabled people at the centre of development. This is vital to reaching everyone, everywhere with clean water and sanitation by 2030.


10 Apr 2014

On 21 January, WaterAid’s Chief Executive, Barbara Frost, gave evidence to the International Development Select Committee on the need to mainstream the needs of disabled people in water, sanitation and hygiene development.

We’re delighted that the committee has included all of our recommendations in its report, published today, 10 April. Addressing the rights of disabled people, including them in service design and decision-making, and challenging stigma can transform lives.

Barbara Frost said:

"Disabled people make up 15% of poorer communities and they are often among the very poorest. The eradication of extreme poverty can only be achieved if the billion disabled people across the globe are included in progress.

"WaterAid's work has shown that it can cost very little to make water and sanitation services accessible to everyone if this is taken on board at the time of design. The benefits of doing so are immense, for disabled people, their families and the wider community.

"As a leader in international development, we urge the UK Government to keep demonstrating that more can and should be done. Ensuring aid programmes reach even those hardest to reach makes sense in both impact and value for money."

The committee’s report encourages the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to:

  • Be a leader in mainstreaming disability and development.
  • Develop a disability strategy that is well resourced.
  • Take a phased approach, focusing on a few sectors and countries at first.
  • Influence multi-lateral donors to include disability programming.

The Government now has two months to respond to the report. During this time, we will be encouraging DFID to take up the recommendations.

In her statement in January, Barbara highlighted the Undoing Inequity project, a DFID-supported collaboration between WaterAid, the Water Engineering Development Centre (WEDC) and Leonard Cheshire Disability. 

In October 2013, the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State at DFID, Lynne Featherstone, and Paralympian Ade Adepitan, visited Uganda to see the Undoing Inequity project at work, identifying barriers disabled people face in accessing water, sanitation and hygiene services.

Read the report > 
Read WaterAid’s written submission >