Hazel BARRETT, Coventry University, United Kingdom
Pascal NIYONKURU, Coventry University, United Kingdom
Mohammad IQBAL RAFIQ, Coventry University, United Kingdom
This paper presents the findings of an ELRHA-HIF funded project. The aim was to develop an in-depth understanding of the barriers faced by older people and people with disabilities in inclusive WASH programming in internally displaced humanitarian settings. The project was underpinned by a rights-based approach (based on UNCRPD) using the Social Model of WASH Inclusion. This Model identifies three major barriers to WASH inclusion: environmental, attitudinal, and institutional/organisational. The study employed a Participatory Action Research Methodology using both quantitative and qualitative methods to understand different types of barriers faced by older people and people with disabilities in WASH programming. It paid particular attention to intersectionality including age, gender and type of disability(ies).
The research took place in two Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Central Darfur, Sudan. Data collection was undertaken in summer of 2021 in Nertiti (rural IDP camp) and Zalengi (urban IDP camp). In total 654 people participated in the study across both research locations. The sample comprised a gender balanced sample of older people (60 years plus) without a disability and people living with cognitive, mobility and sensory disabilities.
The research demonstrated that the characteristics and needs of older people and people with disabilities with respect to WASH programming is highly complex. The recognition that older people and people with disabilities are not homogeneous groups, but have very different needs, social standing and experiences is crucial if WASH Programming is to be UNCRPD compliant.
The paper concludes with a set of recommendations as to how inclusive WASH programming in humanitarian settings can be improved to ensure older people and people with disabilities have access to and are involved in WASH programming and that their human rights are protected.
Keywords: WASH|Social Model of WASH Inclusion|Central Darfur, Sudan|Older People|People with Disabilities