1.3.3 Attitudes of other people

One of the reasons for exclusion is associated with social traditions and the cultural beliefs of the wider community. Some of these attitudes are gradually improving but this is an underlying cause of exclusion of several groups and can be challenging to try to change.

Some people believe that a person with a disability is a reward for a family that broke the law of God or man, or that they are possessed by an evil spirit (Lema, 2015). They keep their children away, thinking that the evil spirit could affect them. If someone has a disability, they may be hidden away by their own family in a secret place and kept out of sight for fear of social stigma and prejudice. As a result, persons with disabilities are marginalised, isolated and prevented from joining in with family and community level engagements and social gatherings.

Attitudes to the role of women in society may make it more difficult for them to speak up and express their opinions about the design or implementation of WASH services, so they are not included in decisions that deeply affect them.

People living with HIV/AIDS often suffer from prejudice and stigma for two basic reasons, one is the incorrect assumption that they are engaged in activities not appreciated by the wider community (e.g. people assume they are sex workers); secondly, people are afraid of the disease and ignorant of how it is transmitted from one person to another. Similar prejudice and exclusion also affects people suffering from other diseases, such as leprosy and some skin conditions.

1.3.4 Available resources