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Sanitation First has been working on rural village and school sanitation solutions in India since 2005 and inner city slum areas since 2014.

In India alone there are 93 million people living in urban slums and it is estimated that by 2017 this figure will have risen to 104 million.

Tamil Nadu in the south of India is considered to be one of the wealthiest states in the country, but behind the statistics of economic growth and development lies another story – one of acute poverty.  The rural population of Tamil Nadu ranks among the poorest in the world, with an estimated 12 million people living on or below the poverty line.

Inner city, rural and school sanitation programmes are more than just building toilets. We work closely with communities before and after implementation – providing basic knowledge and understanding of the benefits of good hygiene practices and the importance of sanitation.

This is fundamental to changing people’s habits, and in 2014 an independent review of our work reported a 95% adoption rate of our GroSan toilets compared to an Indian Government average of 35% (2014). This impressive uptake is due to our community engagement and the provision of a superior model of our GroSan toilet, which is ecological, odourless and pleasant to use.

Our Impact in India

Since 2005 we have provided access to ecosan toilets to over:

  • 155,000 school children
  • 99,354 rural family/communities
  • 1,400 people living in the slums of Pondicherry.