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Clean Toilets Change Lives

In Choudwar an ingenious mix of better hygiene education and sanitation expertise is helping communities build a cleaner, safer city.




Completed Project - India

The Challenge

In the slums of Choudwar, a city in Odisha state, a lack of toilets and clean water is affecting the residents’ health and putting women and girls at risk of harm.

  • In the poorest areas less than a quarter of homes have a working toilet.
  • Most people go to the loo outside, meaning everyone has to live surrounded by poo.
  • Women and girls are forced to go out in the early morning and late at night to go to the toilet on the street or in scrubland, putting them at risk of attack.
  • The lack of toilets, or ways to clear up the poo means there are a lot of flies about, spreading diseases like dysentery, typhoid and gastroenteritis.
  • With no way to remove toilet waste it is often dumped into rivers, polluting water sources and leading to illnesses like diarrhoea.


“Toilets have become a question of dignity for us. More girls and communities in our slums are unsafe while defecating outside during early morning and late evening.”

Sunita, Choudwar

The Ingenious Solution

Together with the H&M Foundation we’ve connected communities and the local government with the expertise to help them clean up the slums and build a complete, sustainable and safe sanitation solution for the future.

  • We set up community groups and events with the local press to get stakeholders and residents on board and educated about the ways diseases are spread and show them how to practise good hygiene.
  • A new faecal sludge treatment plant will make it easier and safer for workers to empty pit latrines.
  • We’ve built two community-managed, decentralised water treatment systems which can be replicated across the region, creating additional jobs.
  • Local entrepreneurs have been supported to set up drinking water purification and distribution systems. Making clean water accessible across the city.
  • Ten low-cost community toilets and five cluster toilets have been constructed in the poorest slum areas, making it safer and cleaner for everyone to go to the toilet.

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