This report summarizes the sanitation and hygiene hopes and aspirations of thousands of women and men of different ages and physical ability, across rural and urban areas in eight South Asian countries. In these countries, over a billion people are without safe sanitation. They represent individuals and groups rarely heard because they are seldom asked what their constraints are, what they need, how they cope and how they might design services differently to enable universal access and use.
- South Asia has committed to eliminating open defecation by 2020 and achieving universal sanitation by 2030. This is impossible without a reorientation of programmes and approaches to put those that are usually unreached, first.
- Adolescents, women, ill, disabled, elderly men and women, transgender individuals, sanitation workers and waste collectors consulted were unanimous that users should be consulted by the organizations responsible for building WASH facilities, so that they can take into account the specific needs and concerns of marginalized groups.
- In the case of community toilets, the community must be involved not only in giving design inputs, but also in developing operation and maintenance plans. Consultation participants felt that community ownership is imperative to ensure sanitation facilities remain clean and usable. Moreover, they demanded that there should be budget provision made at local level for maintenance of these facilities.
- Consultation participants highlighted the importance of raising community awareness on the need for sanitation, hygiene, as well as menstrual hygiene management so that they can demand their rights to water and sanitation.
- All the different groups consulted spoke about stigma and discrimination. All groups spoke in their own way about the need for respect in order to live and work with dignity and security.