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Partnership for Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

Speeches Shim

USAID’s WASH programs support India's priority to provide clean water and sanitation services to all.

USAID partners with the Government of India to create healthier urban communities by increasing access to clean water and sanitation. This objective is stated in both the USAID Water and Development Strategy and the Water for the World Act. USAID and the Government of India test and identify models for safe, affordable drinking water and sanitation services. These models can be implemented on a larger scale by the public and private sectors.


WASH IN INDIA: India is the second most populous country in the world and almost 60% of the population lives in urban areas. The urban population is increasing rapidly, putting stress on water and sanitation services. Because of limited access to functioning, safe toilets as recently 2014, 40% of the population defecated in the open, contaminating water and leading to India having the world’s highest number of diarrhea-related deaths in children under five. To address these problems, including ending open defecation in India by 2019, the Government of India launched the five-year Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission. USAID is supporting this mission by creating awareness of WASH issues and triggering demand from citizens and local government bodies for solutions; piloting innovative solutions; and supporting Government of India efforts to scale successful approaches.

CREATING AWARENESS AND DEMAND: USAID works with the Government of India and other partners to create awareness about sanitation issues and generate demand for solutions. For example, a USAID-supported cleanliness survey helped government officials identify specific issues related to sanitation in 73 cities. This sparked a demand from all 4,041 cities in India for data to inform future service and planning decisions.

PROVIDING WASH SOLUTIONS: USAID partners develop methods to make clean water available at a low cost. Partners establish clean water kiosks and train community members in how to turn the kiosks into a profitable business. USAID partners train government officials at the city, state and national levels on new techniques that can help their cities become cleaner, faster. USAID also works with community members in designing community toilets. Community members and school children are promote good hand washing habits and encourage neighbors to stop defecating in the open.


  • 300,000 more people have access to household toilets
  • 25,000 communities are open defecation free and healthier

  • 175,000 more people now have access to safe drinking water

  • Secured more than $5 million funding from the private sector to implement WASH solutions identified by USAID and its partners

  • 42,000 toilets have been located on Google Maps