Beyond 2019: Why Sanitation Policy Needs to Look Past Toilets

4 March 2018

In the three years since the Swacch Bharat Mission was launched over 30 lakh urban toilets have been built and a further 30 lakh are planned to be built by the program’s deadline in 2019. The efforts in toilet construction have not been matched by equivalent efforts to create infrastructure and institutional mechanisms to collect, treat and safely dispose of the waste, creating a new public health crisis. Using data from various sources, the brief lays out the inadequacy of wastewater and fecal sludge management in India and argues for a focus on the entire sanitation value chain. Local and state officials need to consider a diversity of local factors when choosing treatment options rather than solely opt for centralized, uniform solutions like sewerage.