SDG 6 on water and sanitation calls for the realization of universal and equitable access to safe WASH services for all, paying special attention to those in vulnerable situations. The WASH sector is therefore cognisant of the importance of mainstreaming cross cutting issues with the view to achieve inclusivity in WASH service delivery, chief amongst them being:
HIV and AIDS
The sector has recognised that the HIV/ AIDS challenge poses increased demand for WASH sector responses in the five areas of intervention of prevention, care, mitigation and advocacy. For complementarity and effective coordination with other initiatives and especially with the NAC-AIDS, the Water and Sanitation Sector will respond in the same five areas to ensure an effective response. In this respect, the NAC developed a WASH HIV/AIDS response strategy
The sector is alive to the challenges posed by climate change and variability and the need for climate resilient WASH development. In response, the sector has mainstreamed climate change through responsive WASH infrastructure as well as mitigatory and resilient building strategies.
Disability hinders equal participation of all people in WASH programming, service delivery and enjoyment of the services. The sector ingrains the needs and aspirations of every individual and/or group regardless of their conditions.
Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM)
Menstrual hygiene management is fundamental to the dignity of women and girls and an integral part of basic WASH services to which every woman and the girl child has a right. MHM needs to be seen also within the overall equity and inclusion paradigm as a neglected issue as it cuts across other vulnerabilities. A guideline on MHM is in place under the education sector.
People do not only need water to meet their domestic needs, but also for small-scale productive uses. Specific technical measures to accommodate such uses have not always been considered in planning and design thereby limiting people’s livelihood options. In response to this, the Multiple-use Services Approach has been adopted taking people’s multiple water needs as starting point.
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)
Hazards can compromise WASH infrastructure and service delivery and this interruption of services can further increase vulnerability. Disaster Risk reduction calls for multi-stakeholder and all-inclusive approaches founded on the principles of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, rehabilitation and development and should therefore be integrated into ‘regular’ development work. To this end, DRR guidelines and strategies have been adopted.
Understanding gender, culture and social relations is absolutely essential in assessing, designing and implementing an appropriate WASH programme that is effective and safe and restores the dignity of the affected population. Without a gender analysis and consequent gender strategies, WASH projects are unlikely to provide equal access to project opportunities for men and women and unlikely to be sustainable. The sector has developed gender sensitive WASH policies and strategies and ensures that people remain engaged and committed.