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What humanitarian need is being addressed?

Individuals in humanitarian settings encounter several challenges. Paramount among these are acute water shortage and challenges with sanitation and hygiene needs. The water, sanitation and hygiene problems are compounded in women with incontinence resulting from obstetric fistula. However, empirical evidence regarding how these extremely vulnerable and marginalized women meet their water, sanitation and hygiene needs is virtually not existent. More so, there is limited insight into existing programs designed specifically for women with incontinence resulting from obstetric fistula.

What is the innovative solution and how will it improve existing humanitarian practice?

The project will use a sequential mixed-method design involving both qualitative and quantitative approaches to elucidate salient issues relating to the water, sanitation and hygiene needs of women with incontinence secondary to obstetric fistula.

Using individual in-depth interviews, focus group discussion and questionnaires the project will engage women with obstetric fistula in their respective communities and treatment centers. The project will examine the lived experiences of the women to unearth, for instance, their daily struggles and more importantly how they meet their water, sanitation and hygiene needs.

The project will also investigate the existing programs to meet the water and sanitation needs of the women along several dimensions, including adequacy and appropriateness. Lastly, the project will propose culturally sensitive innovate programs to promote the women’s positive experience of water, sanitation and hygiene programming.

What are the expected outcomes?

Grounded in phenomenology and participatory research approach, the project will document the lived experiences of women with obstetric fistula, the strategies adopted to meet water, sanitation and hygiene needs and interventions existing currently to improve the experience of the women. The findings will ultimately help to propose innovative solutions to help the women address their water, sanitation and hygiene needs.

Latest Updates


20 Jul 2022

A core focus of this project was to ensure the engagement of affected women at every stage part of which took the form of a recent dissemination workshop- you can read the teams reflections on this process here.



Aug 2022

The study investigated the lived experiences of women with obstetric fistula-induced incontinence, how they meet their WASH needs, the barriers they encounter, existing and new interventions to improve their WASH experience.


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