Access to water, sanitation and hygiene: A survey assessment of persons with disabilities in rural Mali

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This paper presents results from a survey on access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for persons with disabilities in rural communities of Mali, West Africa. The objective of this survey was to assess numbers and types of [persons with] disabilities in relation to access and use of WASH facilities. Related public attitudes and preferences of persons with disabilities were also assessed within target communities served by World Vision Mali. The survey found that persons with disabilities face considerable constraints in regards to the access and use of most water and sanitation facilities. Specific difficulties related to fetching and transporting water, drawing and pumping water, washing the body and latrine use are explained. The results of the study should serve to fill a major void in reliable, quantitative information on the number and types of disabilities in rural communities of West Africa, especially as they relate to issues of WASH. They also serve to provide much needed baseline information upon which policy, guidelines and infrastructure/technology design can be developed or enhanced so as to assure more equitable access and use of WASH facilities by persons with physical disabilities.

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