Communal Sanitation Solutions for Urban Slums in Orissa, India

Project Summary
In the slums of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack in India, almost 45 percent of households use either public toilets, which are meant for a rotating population in commercial areas, or communal toilets, which serve a fixed residential population. However, the condition of these facilities is very poor. A preliminary survey showed that 53 percent of these toilets were either “dirty” or “very dirty”, and one in six facilities was completely non-functional. When the toilets then fall into disrepair, people often revert to open defecation, leading communal toilets to be abandoned.

This program seeks to improve the physical infrastructure of community and public toilets, while simultaneously testing new communal management systems, to identify a solution that will produce the most attractive, sustainable and hygienic alternatives to open defecation for slum residents.

Press & Blog Coverage
The Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2013. “A Visit to the Potty Lab