India is the second most populous country in the world, with almost 60 percent of the population living in urban areas. That number is rapidly increasing, putting stress on water and sanitation services.
To address these challenges, the Government of India launched the five-year Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission to end open defecation across the country by 2019. 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.
USAID also works with the Government of India and other partners to create awareness about sanitation issues and generate demand for solutions. The results of a USAID-supported cleanliness survey conducted in 73 cities aided government officials in determining particular issues related to sanitation. This sparked a demand from all 4,041 cities in India for data to inform future service and planning decisions.
Other USAID efforts including working with partners to develop methods to make clean water available at a low cost, such as establishing clean water kiosks and training 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 and promoting good handwashing habits.