people in India don't have access to safe water.

774 million people don't have access to adequate sanitation in India.

Over 60,000 children under five die a year due to diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation.

With a population of over a billion people, India is home to 17% of the world’s population. The divide between rich and poor is huge and over a quarter of people live in poverty.

The crisis

Over 770 million people don’t have access to adequate sanitation in India – over 60% of the population – and 76 million have no access to safe water.

The crisis has a huge impact on health, with more than 140,000 children dying every year from preventable diarrhoeal diseases.

India's vast population is growing, particularly in urban areas, where people are living in slums. In many places, faeces and water supplies are not separated and facilities are often expensive or even illegal.

In rural areas, new facilities fall into disrepair where there are no resources for maintenance. Often, cultural beliefs prevent people from using latrines or practising good hygiene.

Our approach

We believe that local government and service providers should be held accountable to the communities they serve. Working with local organisations in ten states (Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Delhi), we empower communities to recognise and fight for their human rights to water and sanitation.

Our programmes serve a wide range of communities, from those living in remote rural villages to small towns to slums in major cities including New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bhopal. We prioritise the needs of marginalised groups who are often excluded from existing services, such as Dalits or people with disabilities. As well as developing household and communal facilities, we help develop water and sanitation facilities in schools.

Our hygiene promotion programme, which includes measures to improve menstrual hygiene management, is undertaken in partnership with community volunteers, health workers and schools.

Our impact

In India last year we reached:

  • 466,000 people with water.
  • 374,000 people with sanitation in India.