1.3.1 Individual and group attributes
Many people are excluded from WASH simply because of who they are and the fact that they belong to one or more of the groups identified in Section 1.2.
Design and construction of WASH facilities often does not take the needs of all individuals into account. For example, if you are a wheelchair user, you may be excluded because a latrine entrance has steps, or the door is too narrow, or the space inside is too small. If you are an elderly woman who cannot squat, you would have difficulty using a toilet without a seat. If you are a small child you may not be able to reach the water taps at school if they have been placed too high. There may also be problems with the route that people take when walking to and from a facility. In many cases, when new water and sanitation facilities are built, the path is not made part of the contract and so the builder does not include it in the construction work.
Consider a water point constructed in a steep-sided gorge with a narrow and uneven path leading to it. Which groups of people would not be able to collect water from this facility?
Elderly people, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, and people who are ill may not be able to access the water point.
(The reasons how and why personal attributes including ability and gender can lead to lack of accessibility and other forms of exclusion are discussed further in following study sessions.)