open defecation


Harnessing the Community to Improve a Nation’s Health

In the large nation of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), girls may be sent for miles to fetch dirty water, risking both safety and health. Villages strategically located on rivers or lakes only have the illusion of enough water. Untreated, none of these sources are safe to drink.


Bringing Swachh Bharat to 4,041 Cities One Neighborhood at a Time

In 2014, the Government of India launched the ambitious Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission to improve urban quality of life by eliminating open defecation and increasing sanitation coverage in its more than 4,000 cities by October 2, 2019 — the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth. During my visit there earlier this year, I saw significant progress being made toward this goal and was proud of the technical assistance the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing to strengthen national sanitation and support this effort.

Implementation Brief

Sanitation: Water and Development Strategy Implementation Brief

Please note that this implementation brief applies to the 2013 USAID Water and Development Strategy, which has been replaced by the 2017 U.S. Government Global Water Strategy and USAID Water and Development Plan. Click here for more information.


Community-Led Sanitation in Nakuru County, Kenya

APHIAplus Nuru ya Bonde project works with technical teams in five Kenya counties to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Over the past five years, the project has helped to significantly increase access to functional latrines in the five counties it covers. In Nakuru County, efforts are focused on working with public health officials and communities to stamp out open defecation, practiced by only 3% of the community. This video presents some of the project’s work in the county.

Real Impact

Real Impact: Ethiopia - Hygiene Improvement Project

When the Hygiene Improvement Project (HIP) began in 2004, nearly 80 percent of the total population of the Amhara Region in Ethiopia (an estimated 15.2 million people) lived in rural areas where access to sanitation was extremely low and hygiene behaviors were not widely practiced. The majority of the population, 64 percent, practiced open defecation, and just 17 percent of the population had access to only “unimproved” sanitation facilities such as pit latrines.


USAID Joins 100,000 Women in India to Bring Dignity, Safety, and Health to a City of Two Million

At USAID we recognize the threat poor sanitation combined with rapid urbanization presents to human health, dignity, and prosperity. This is why we have made urban sanitation a global priority for the Agency. During a recent visit to India, I was able to see some of the work being done to bring sanitation services to urban areas, and had the good fortune to meet some inspiring women who are advancing these efforts in their communities.