WASH Programmes should be based on a needs assessment that identifies the specific
needs, vulnerabilities and capacities of distinct socio-economic, gender, ethnic and
age groups within a community.
Oxfam Technical Brief 1: Excreta Disposal Physically Vulnerable People Emergenices
WEDC: Water and Sanitation for disabled people and other vulnerable groups
HelpAge: Older people in disasters and humanitarian crises
Groups at risk in emergencies include the elderly, disabled people and people
living with HIV and Aids (PLWHA). In certain contexts, people may also become
vulnerable by reason of ethnic/tribal origin, religious or political affiliation, or
displacement. WASH programmes should take steps to ensure the participation
of vulnerable groups:
- Specific vulnerabilities influence people’s ability to cope and survive in a disaster; those most at risk should be identified in each context.
- Consult with different groups (elderly, disabled people) separately.
- Make consideration for understanding the needs of groups who are consistently away from the household (e.g. for livelihood purposes), or not immediately visible (e.g. people with mental and physical disabilities)
- Make consideration for understanding the needs of people with disabled people such as the deaf, blind and those with mental disabilities.