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

Over 790 million people don't have access to adequate sanitation in India, almost two thirds of the population.

Over 186,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation in India.

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

Growing numbers of people in India live without access to safe water and sanitation. The 2011 census showed that in rural areas just three in ten people have access to a bathroom. The sanitation crisis has a huge impact on health, with the country home to half of all the world's malnourished and underweight children

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 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.

In India last year we reached:

  • 455,000 people with water and 297,000 people with sanitation in India.
  • We have developed training manuals that the government and other major service providers have used throughout the country.