Expanding Efforts to Reach People With Disabilities in Cambodia

Celebrating International Day of People with Disabilities | 3rd December, 2018

In Cambodia, a predominantly rural country where many people still live with the repercussions of war, including an uncounted amount of unexploded munitions and landmines, the population with disabilities is highly visible. While the number of households with improved latrines is rising, sanitation products that serve people with disabilities are hard to find. iDE’s Interlock Shelter provides an affordable, accessible sanitation product to serve these customers. It can be easily customized with grab bars, a sitting toilet, and wheelchair ramp for a lower price than traditional brick and mortar shelters. 

Water for Women will be partnering with International Development Enterprises (iDE) to deliver WASH-SUP2 – Cambodia water, sanitation and hygiene scale up program to reach communities in six provinces of Cambodia. The project aims to reach all people within these communities, including those marginalised individuals and groups within these communities. iDE is experienced in innovating  to meet their market with products such as their Interlock Shelter providing solutions for customers with a disability.

Smiling man with one leg and crutches standing outside his newly built latrine in Cambodia

Above: Mr. Che with his Interlock Shelter, November 2018 
(iDE/Tyler Kozole)


Left: Mr. Che with his new Interlock Shelter, May 2017 
(iDE/Sophy Phann)

At iDE, our customers are our lifeblood.  In 2017 Mr. Che Chemm purchased a disability-accommodating latrine and shelter, furnished with grab rails and a sitting toilet, from an iDE-supported local business. Less than two years later, he has referred his three sons, one of whom also has a physical disability, to purchase the same shelter model. When we visited Mr. Che nearly a year and a half after his latrine was installed, he greeted us with a smile as he pointed towards two of his sons’ neighboring homes: both equipped with iDE-designed Interlock Shelters.

At iDE, our old customers are as vital as our new ones. Our methods are rooted in Human Centered Design, and we strive to continue to connect with our clients, gather feedback, and iterate to develop their ideal product. Feedback from clients like Mr. Che have directed us towards sourcing more efficient latrine pans, modifying latrine business construction methods, and ultimately, making a more aspirational product. Above all though, our customers have re-affirmed our dedication to serving marginalized segments of the population.

In the coming years, with support from Water for Women, iDE intends to continue to scale production and demand generation for disability-adaptable products like the Interlock Shelter. Through advanced training for latrine businesses on disability accommodation and improvement of sales methods to consultatively address individuals’ physical limitations, iDE will continue supporting the development of sanitation market that sustainably meets these needs.

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