Globally, lack of access to hygienic sanitation facilities causes 2.7Mn deaths annually, and 0.8Mn children die of diarrheal disease every year. The UN has made access to sanitation a Millennium Development Goal, and foundations and multilateral organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), World Bank, etc. have dedicated fund outlays and / or service verticals addressing the issue.

Lack of sanitation is an acute issue in India, where close to 600Mn people defecate in the open, and 67% of rural households do not have toilets. Efforts are being made to address this issue – the Government of India subsidizes rural toilet construction through the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan campaign (previously known as the Total Sanitation Campaign, or TSC) and over the years has approved funding of over INR 200 Bn (USD 4Bn). However, less than 60% of these funds have actually been used. Also, data from the Census indicates that a significant proportion of the TSC toilets that are reported to have been constructed may be non-existent or not in use.2

Data from the field shows that demand for toilets exists. 84% of households surveyed in Bihar indicated their desire for a toilet, and the strength of this desire is demonstrated by the fact that 38% of these households have actually gone ahead and researched available product options. Convenience, privacy, and safety of women and children are the primary reasons

File Name: a-market-led-evidence-based-approach-to-rural