Disability friendly water and sanitation facilities in primary schools (Malawi)

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  • rochelleholm
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  • Manager and Associate Professor with the Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation at Mzuzu University (Malawi). To learn more about the Centre visit http://www.mzuniwatsan.com/ .
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Disability friendly water and sanitation facilities in primary schools (Malawi)

You may be interested in this recent publication from Mzuzu University, Malawi.

A qualitative assessment of disability friendly water and sanitation facilities in primary schools, Rumphi, Malawi
by: Harlod Zaunda, Rochelle H. Holm, Ambumulire Itimu-Phiri, Mphatso Malota & Sian White
DEVELOPMENT SOUTHERN AFRICA
doi.org/10.1080/0376835X.2018.1461610

ABSTRACT
Students with disabilities commonly face barriers when accessing water and using sanitation and hygiene facilities at school. International frameworks have prompted governments to enact local policies that enshrine these rights, guarantee equitable access to education and mandate inclusive infrastructure. This research was designed to explore whether Malawi has translated good policies into practice. Data were gathered in Rumphi district,Malawi, through structured field observations in ten schools and interviews with students with a disability (n = 23), teachers (n = 11) and government stakeholders (n = 2). No school had facilities that fully meet the needs of students with disabilities, and private schools were not necessarily better. The cost of bringing existing infrastructure up to standard was on average MK54 000 (US$78). However, proactive consultation with children with a disability is likely to generate alternative low-cost short-term solutions. Increased government support, budgeting and enforcement is necessary to ensure international standards and national policies are met.

The full paper can also be found here: www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0376835X.2018.1461610
Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation
Mzuzu University (Malawi)
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: Disability friendly water and sanitation facilities in primary schools (Malawi)

Dear Rochelle,

Thanks for posting the information about your article here. Very interesting and practical work.
How was this research funded, is it part of a larger project?

What are the main disabilities that children in your study area had? I assume wheelchairs are not easy for them to afford so may not be that common?

What are the main low-cost improvements that schools could make to their school toilets to make them more disability friendly (given that they are probably rather basic facilities to start with). I am assuming steep steps and narrow doors as well as dark cubicles could be problem areas?

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. I didn't read the paper only the abstract (as it's behind a paywall and would cost USD 42.50)
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  • rochelleholm
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  • Manager and Associate Professor with the Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation at Mzuzu University (Malawi). To learn more about the Centre visit http://www.mzuniwatsan.com/ .
  • Posts: 84
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Re: Disability friendly water and sanitation facilities in primary schools (Malawi)

Thank you for the questions about this research. It was not a funded research project, rather it was a Mzuzu University Bachelor of Science student research project.

The research on school children with disabilities has been profiled in the following online news article, which covers many of your follow-up questions on our research findings:

Malawian school children with disability struggle to access drinking water and toilets

theconversation.com/malawian-school-chil...er-and-toilets-95073
Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation
Mzuzu University (Malawi)
The following user(s) like this post: Elisabeth
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  • rochelleholm
  • rochelleholm's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Manager and Associate Professor with the Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation at Mzuzu University (Malawi). To learn more about the Centre visit http://www.mzuniwatsan.com/ .
  • Posts: 84
  • Karma: 4
  • Likes received: 26

Re: Disability friendly water and sanitation facilities in primary schools (Malawi)

The following paper can now be read for free in full:

A qualitative assessment of disability friendly water and sanitation facilities in primary schools, Rumphi, Malawi
by: Harlod Zaunda, Rochelle H. Holm, Ambumulire Itimu-Phiri, Mphatso Malota & Sian White
DEVELOPMENT SOUTHERN AFRICA
www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0376835X.2018.1461610
Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation
Mzuzu University (Malawi)
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