Category Archives: South Asia

Rural sanitation market in India worth US$ 25 billion

Monitor Deloitte has estimated that the demand for rural toilets in India could be worth INR 500-700 billion (US$ 10-14 billion), with an INR 300-450 billion (US$ 6-9 billion) financing opportunity. This is one of key key highlights from their recent white paper.

Photo: Monitor Deloitte

Photo: Monitor Deloitte

The paper identified two main types of  business models to deliver rural toilets: the Do It Yourself (DIY) model and a Turnkey Solution Provider (TSP) model. Both models require a central player or ‘market maker’ to conduct market-building activities to get the models started. Organisations such as NGOs, microfinance institution (MFIs) and cement companies can play this role, while the Government has a key role in facilitating the development of the sanitation market.

The Government of India has approved funding of over US$ 4 billion for rural sanitation, but less than 60% of these funds have been used, the paper says. Census data indicates that many of these Government supported toilets may be non-existent or not-in-use.

Research by Monitor Deloitte in the Indian state of Bihar  showed 84% of households surveyed in rural Bihar indicated their desire for a toilet and 38% of these households had actually researched available product options. Safety of women, convenience and privacy as opposed to health were key drivers.

Deloitte is organising a series of open conference calls to discuss their findings on the following dates:

  • February 12, 10am IST
  • February 25, 10am IST
  • March 5, 9:30am IST
  • March 13, 9:30pm IST

Please request RSVPs to inmim@deloitte.com for more information and materials for the call.

Microfinance as a potential cataylst for improved sanitation

. Summary of sanitation lending and product delivery models. Water for People

. Summary of sanitation lending and product delivery models. Water for People

Microfinance allows middle- and lower-income households to invest in desirable sanitation products, so that public funding can be freed up to reach the poorest, according to Water for People (WfP). In a new report [1], WfP reviews their experiences in piloting various lending models in seven countries: Bolivia, Guatemala, India, Malawi, Peru, Rwanda and Uganda.

The report provides lessons and recommendations for donors wishing to engage in sanitation microfinancing. The four key recommendations are:

  1. Think like a business
  2. Support lending institutions based on the microfinance climate and capacity needs
  3. Build an autonomous sanitation microfinance market
  4. Track progress and lessons

The report is part of WfP’s Sanitation as a Business (SaaB) program, funded by a Gates Foundation grant.

Read the full report

[1]  Chatterley, C. et al, 2013. Microfinance as a potential catalyst for improved sanitation : a synthesis of Water For People’s sanitation lending experiences in seven countries. Denver, CO,USA: Water For People. Available at: <http://www.waterforpeople.org/assets/files/sanitation-microfinance.pdf>

Source: Christie Chatterley et al., Microfinance as a potential cataylst for improved sanitation, Water for People, 27 Dec 2013

A Market Led, Evidence Based Approach to Rural Sanitation

Monitor Inclusive Markets, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has written a white paper titled “A Market Led, Evidence Based Approach to Rural Sanitation” on supply side market-based approaches to scale rural sanitation in India, based mainly on findings from the PSI-led “Supporting Sustainable Sanitation Improvements” (3SI) project in Bihar and supplemented by additional investigation of interventions in other parts of India.

The white paper explains that demand for toilets does exist in rural India, and the availability of quality and affordable products as well as financing are key levers to unlocking this demand. It goes on to propose business models that could profitably deliver solutions that meet customer needs, and highlights players in the sanitation ecosystem who could serve as the “market maker,” conducting market-building activities and creating an enabling environment for growth.

Please visit www.inclusive-markets.org/sanitation to see a more complete set of outputs from the 3SI project as well as annexures to the white paper providing overviews of some organizations already delivering sanitation solutions or providing sanitation financing in rural India.

India, Madhya Pradesh: sanitation campaign humiliates women, say critics

Controversial illustration from Madya Pradesh sanitation campaign booklet

Controversial illustration from Madya Pradesh sanitation campaign booklet

A government campaign to stop open defecation in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has been criticised for using humiliation to change behaviour. Journalist M. Poornima writes that the ambitious scheme called ‘Maryada Abhiyan’ (Hindi for dignity), “gives little of it to women”.

From catcalls to publishing names to photographing the people caught — the government booklet [1] suggests a number of measures meant to humiliate people. That it would hit women the hardest is not a thought that appears to have occurred to the authorities.

The criticism is backed up by WaterAid programme officer Binu Arickal, who called whistling at or photographing women practising open defecation “foolish”. This reflects a discussion started at the beginning of this year on community-led total sanitation (CLTS) and human rights in the SuSanA Forum, which was sparked by a journal article [2] by Jamie Bartram and others.

UNICEF contributed to the Maryada campaign booklet. The campaign’s brand ambassador is Anita Narre, the bride from a Madhya Pradesh who  sparked a “sanitation revolution” in her village by forcing her husband to build a toilet in their home.

[1] Madhya Pradesh. State Water and Sanitation Mission (2012?). Maryada Abhiyan: guideline. Available at: <http://washurl.net/42kkyn>

[2] Bartram, J. … [et al.] (2012). Commentary on community-led total sanitation and human rights: Should the right to community-wide health be won at the cost of individual rights?. Journal of water and health, 10(4), pp. 499–503. doi: 10.2166/wh.2012.205. Available at: <http://washurl.net/56qm77>

Related web sites:

Source: M. Poornima, No ‘maryada’ for women in MP govt’s sanitation drive, Hindustan Times, 24 Dec 2013

Campaign uses “Slum Britain art” for fundraising

Slums encroach on Buckingham Palace - still from Practical Action video

Slums encroach on Buckingham Palace – still from Practical Action video

A UK charity has set images of iconic landmarks like Buckingham Palace in typical South Asian slums for its latest campaign to tackle urban poverty. Practical Action’s Safer Cities Christmas appeal aims to provide clean water, sanitation and safe housing to over 4,000 poor people in Nepal and Bangladesh. The appeal is backed by the government’s UK Aid Match initiative which matches public donations pound for pound. UK Aid Match will award up to £120 million (US$ 200 million) in grants over 3 years.

Source: Practical Action, 20 Dec 2013 ; The Independent, 22 Dec 2013

Diane Coffey – No shame in a simple pit latrine

No shame in a simple pit latrine - Complete article/source – Diane Coffey, RICE Institute, Dec 11 2013.

Excerpts - Today I just want to take a couple of minutes to share a short story about a modest pit latrine.  Amit and I were doing an interview for the quantitative survey with an older man in Rewari block.  He answered our questions kindly and patiently, but when we got to the section in which Amit was supposed to observe the man’s latrine, the man said it not at the house (it is common in Rewari for people to built latrines on the plot of land where they keep their animals).  I told Amit to finish the interview and that we’d fill in that section later.  When we finished the interview, we again asked to see the latrine, asking whether there was a child from the house who could take us to the plot.

The man looked uncomfortable and said that that would not work.  We suggested we could find our way ourselves, and he said no, so we gave up.Why would the older man be ashamed of his latrine in a place where so many people practice open defecation?  SONY DSC

Well, in Haryana, people tend to build extremely fancy latrines, or none at all.  The fancy latrines have water seals that prevent bad smells and in many cases flush tanks – we even saw latrines equipped with both a western toilet seat and an Indian one.

Complete article/source - Diane Coffey, RICE Institute, Dec 11 2013.

AND THE WINNER IS….Community-led Total Sanitation in Himachal Pradesh

Water and Sanitation Program - The Indian state of Himachal Pradesh has made good progress in achieving rural sanitation outcomes and is well recognized as a high performer at an all-India level. Like other states, Himachal Pradesh also implemented the Total Sanitation Campaign/Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan and Nirmal Gram Puraskar/Clean Village program since their launch and the 2011 Census finds that open-defecation in rural Himachal Pradesh has come down from 72% to 33% in 2001, a downward reduction of 39% and highest among all states of India. By contrast, at national level, open-defecation has come down by 11% from 78% to 69%. This film showcases the state-level strategy which resulted in successful outcomes.

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar UNICEF ambassador for hygiene & sanitation in South Asia

Recently-retired Indian cricket legend SachinTendulkar has become UNICEF Ambassador for South Asia to promote hygiene and sanitation in the region over the next two years.

“I was disheartened to know was that 1600 children die everyday because of diarrhoeal infected diseases”, Tendulkar said at a press conference on 28 November in Mumbai. “I just want to help UNICEF to make more people aware of this initiative that I am part of. It is as simple as washing your hands with soap”.

A video compilation highlights Tendulkar’s involvement in UNICEF campaigns over the past ten years on issues including polio, HIV/AIDS and handwashing.

Source: UNICEF, 28 Nov 2013 ; Times of India, 28 Nov 2013

India, Bihar: if you want to be elected, get a toilet first

First we had “no toilet, no bride“, now you need a toilet to be elected in India. At least that’s  what chief minister Nitish Kumar is proposing for his state Bihar. He made the announcement on World Toilet Day, 19 November.

Candidates who don’t have a toilet in their home will not be allowed to contest rural (panchayat) and urban local body elections in the state.  The chief minister said he would ensure that relevant legislation (Bihar Panchayati Raj Act) would be amended to make this possible.

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BRAC WASH latrines will power business to turn faecal waste into energy

The BRAC WASH programme in Bangladesh is to conduct detailed planning to convert faecal matter from pit latrines into commercially viable fertiliser, biogas and electricity. The aim is to complete the sanitation chain by making material from millions of pit latrines safe and economically productive.

Babar Kabir, Senior Director of the BRAC WASH programme, says that there is a sound business case for investment in bio-energy units that could generate electricity on a large scale, but believes that investors must be in this for the long-term and that the most important payback will be improved health and sanitation.

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