Access to safe water for all is one of India’s major challenges. We work hand-in-hand with municipalities and all our stakeholders to implement innovative solutions and tackle the inequalities in the access to essential resources.
We also embrace this challenge on the sanitation issue. Today, only 40% of the total population in India have access to adequate sanitation (as defined by the World Bank, 2015). In parallel, over 140,000 children die every year from diarrhea, caused by unsafe water or inadequate sanitation, while 21% of communicable diseases in India are still related to unsafe water (World Bank, 2015).
The figures of the 2011 national census confirm this situation: 60.4% of the country’s population is reported to have no access to toilet. The situation is even worse in rural areas, with only 14% of the rural population having access to a latrine.
This issue has been elevated at the forefront of the political scene, with the government launching the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan program. The program aims to eradicate open defecation by 2019, targeting to construct 113 million individual toilets, therefore bringing all stakeholders together to improve the sanitary conditions over the country.
Well aware of this challenge, and as we give strong importance to ensure the local development in the area of our operations, we have partnered with Sulabh International Centre for Action Sociology (SICAS), a prominent NGO in the sanitation sector in India that is dedicated to the Gandhian ideology of scavengers’ emancipation. Sulabh has agreed upon a partnership with Veolia Foundation to finance the construction of five public toilet complexes in Nangloi, an area of West Delhi, where Veolia India is managing the drinking water production and distribution for its one million inhabitants. The first two toilet complexes have been inaugurated in February 2016.