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The reports cover the sanitation needs of vulnerable groups in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), in partnership with the Freshwater Action Network South Asia (FANSA) have released eight country reports in the Leave No One Behind campaign of consultations with marginalized and vulnerable groups in South Asia.
The reports cover the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka detailing the findings of consultations with marginalized groups to listen to their sanitation and hygiene needs, challenges, hopes and aspirations.
This regional discussion process was part of the preparation for the South Asia Conference on Sanitation, SACOSAN VI, held in January 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
In the months preceding the conference, 55 consultations with more than 2,700 people took place across eight countries.
“In my college, the toilet is always flooded with water and is so unhygienic that we wait until we come home to relieve ourselves. During monthly periods, most of us miss the classes as there is no place to change sanitary napkins,” a student from Kabul was quoted as saying in the report from Afghanistan.
The discussions involved listening to the sanitation and hygiene challenges faced by adolescent girls, women and men, youth and the elderly, transgender people, sanitation workers, waste pickers, and disabled people of different age groups, from rural, urban slum and tribal settings.
For some, it was the first time they were ever asked about their conditions and concerns.
“This most basic and routine of all human needs and rituals becomes a complex, creative endeavour for hundreds of millions of people across South Asia simply because they are unable to access this most basic of human rights- the human right to sanitation and hygiene,” said WSSCC’s Archana Patkar.
In each country report, testimonies and recommendations can be found with key sanitation and hygiene issues addressed in sections dedicated to women and adolescent girls, the elderly and the disabled, sanitation workers and waste picker and transgender groups (for some countries).
“Waste Collectors are socially ill-treated by the community and by officials. People dispose sharp objects and other materials, such as dead animals, human excreta, soiled toilet paper and clinical waste in waste bags. They do not think of the consequences of their behaviour on people who sort this waste and can get hurt in the process,” said Supameni, a sanitation worker from Kurunegala in Sri Lanka.
South Asia has committed to eliminating open defecation by 2020 and achieving universal sanitation by 2030. Recognizing the importance of marginalized groups and communities to achieve those goals, previous SACOSANs have made various commitments to ensure a more inclusive approach.
Download: Leave No One Behind - Country Reports