Water and Sanitation
A staggering 355 million women and girls are still waiting for a toilet in India (WaterAid, 2017). Women from low-income communities face the brunt of this gap as they compromise their safety each day to carry out their daily sanitation routine.
Equitable Access to Water and Sanitation
We improve access to safe water and sanitation facilities in low-income urban communities.
MHT works with communities across India to not only help them access individual household level sanitation facilities, but also to mobilize them to demand services from local governing bodies. We focus on creating systemic solutions to issues of urban sanitation, by facilitating infrastructure creation and upgrades, encouraging the adoption of safe sanitation practices, and empowering young women to advocate for better water and sanitation facilities.
Mobilizing communities to exercise citizenship and demand services
Community capacity is strictly intertwined with access to sanitation services in urban areas. Given that sanitation operates as a system at both the city and community level, local residents need to come together to develop a shared understanding of sanitation problems and how they affect the collective welfare. Community capacity building has included initiatives like training young women in sanitation advocacy and leading sanitation change.
Supporting construction of individual sanitation facilities
MHT is a strong advocate of “private sanitation” and views it as fundamental to furthering women’s health, productivity, and overall well-being. MHT plays a crucial role in linking low income communities to government programs like the SBM to support the construction of individual toilets. We facilitate toilet construction, extending water and drainage connections in informal settlements, and expanding WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) facilities in schools.
Connecting communities to water and sanitation networks
An integrated strategy to ensure total sanitation implies not only toilet construction but also access to city-level infrastructures such as safe water supply and wastewater treatment systems. MHT’s interventions in “delinking tenure from service delivery” stand at the forefront of their advocacy measures. For instance, the “100 NOC Scheme” for slum residents was an initiative by the AMC which allowed them to apply for legal individual sewage and water connections.
Working with smaller cities in scaling up sanitation delivery
MHT’s role in smaller cities has expanded from engaging with and mobilizing communities to build the capacity of local governments to undertake city-level initiatives in water and sanitation. Since lack of adequate funding is the primary challenge in smaller cities, MHT supports cities in accessing funding from State and National Government, leveraging alternative finance like Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and also augmenting their revenue through improving property tax recovery.