There’s big business in solving India’s toilet crisis

Sanitation facilities in India are super bad. And because of that, there’s a $62B market for global and local companies to help fix the problem. According to the Toilet Board Coalition (a global consortium of companies, investors, and sanitation experts), the aim is to hire companies to help develop market-based fixes to help India end […]


November 17, 2017

Sanitation facilities in India are super bad. And because of that, there’s a $62B market for global and local companies to help fix the problem.

According to the Toilet Board Coalition (a global consortium of companies, investors, and sanitation experts), the aim is to hire companies to help develop market-based fixes to help India end “open defecation” by 2019.

But it’s easier said than done

Three years after rolling out the Swachh Bharat (“Clean India”) campaign, the country is still facing major issues involving their sanitation facilities.

A whopping 732.2m people in India lack access to basic sanitation, and the restrooms they have access to are known to be unbearably filthy cesspools of fatal diseases.

One in 10 deaths in the country occur due to poor hygiene, and it is estimated that 23% of adolescent girls drop out of school due to sanitation issues.

The toilet economy

The TBC has helped India’s government — who is massively failing on producing the 2.5m+ toilets they promised by March of 2016 — realize the sanitation market isn’t pointed at some one-size-fits-all company.

Shaping a toilet is only one subset that makes the sanitation economy swirl ‘round: in order to meet their promised quota, they also need companies who specialize in maintenance, waste transport, data collection, even smell — a major reason existing toilets go unused.

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