Greener Journal of Social Sciences Vol. 4 (2), pp. 050-061, February 2014
ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2011 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 1202131000
Sanitary Provisions for Persons with Disabilities in the 21St Century and Bridging the Gap through Collaborative Researches
Zimbabwe Open University, Faculty of Applied Social Sciences, Department of Disability Studies and Special Needs Education. P Bag 984, Bindura, Zimbabwe.
Email: gchigunwe @ gmail. com, Phone: (263) 773 274 013
The study intended to explore as to what extend persons with disabilities are included in sanitary accessibility, disaster management and prevention as well as in mitigating against environment hazards. To achieve this, the following questions were formulated; Are people with disabilities rehabilitated or habilitated in environmental sustainability? Do people with disabilities participate in the environmental sustainability planning and programmes implementation? To what extend are they included in educational campaigns against environmental sustainability? Do they access basic services of safe water and toilets? Descriptive survey method was used for this research and data was analysed in a narrative form. Convenient sampling and snow bowling method was used to select persons with disabilities and their families who participated in this study. Literature review showed that people with disabilities are among the most vulnerable and least equipped to deal with environmental hazards and impact of climate change in most African and Asian countries. Findings indicated that people with disabilities in Zimbabwe are excluded from accessing sanitary infrastructures and participating in planning and implementation of environmental sustainability programmes. They have relatively poor access to basic services and these include accessibility to safe water and toilets. Collaborative research by universities can go a long way in alleviating challenges faced by vulnerable persons in the communities that they serve. Combating life threatening diseases is one of the global Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be achieved by the year 2015. Thus through various researches on appropriate sanitary provisions, universities can do much to inform policy as well as to help their government to pursue objectives and strategies that will guarantee the delivery of optimal outcomes of MDGS in the shortest time possible and at a reasonable cost. Through research conferences and other collaborative approaches, universities can facilitate the formulation of appropriate and sensitive sanitary facilities.
Keywords: Sanitary infrastructures, Accessibility, People with disabilities, Environmental sustainability, Climate change.