Issues in access to safe drinking water and basic hygiene for persons with physical disabilities in rural Cambodia

Marin MacLeod*, Mala Pann, Ray Cantwell, Spencer Moore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An estimated 1.6 million people die from diarrheal diseases each year due to lack of access to safe water and sanitation, and persons with physical disabilities face additional barriers. In Cambodia, approximately 5% of the population is disabled, presenting substantial obstacles in accessing these basic services. The purpose of this study was twofold: first, to identify the challenges facing persons with physical disabilities in accessing safe household water and basic hygiene in rural Cambodia; and, second, to use these results to generate policy and practice recommendations for the water and sanitation hygiene sector implementing water treatment system interventions in rural settings. Fifteen field interviews were conducted with persons with physical disabilities. Thematic analysis was used to identify six main themes. The results indicated that environmental barriers to access were greater in the workplace than household settings and those persons with disabilities had greater awareness about safe drinking water compared to basic hygiene. Additionally, lack of physical strength, distance to water, and lack of financial means were noted as common access barriers. The findings support ongoing research and offer insight into the particular challenges facing persons with physical disabilities in rural areas in accessing safe drinking water and basic hygiene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-895
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Water and Health
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biosand filter
  • Cambodia
  • Hygiene
  • Low income
  • Physical disability
  • Water

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