The aim of this research report is to explore the types of sanitation services that exist in non-networked settlements. Based on the case study of Aya Nagar in South Delhi, the research shows how households are primarily dependent on septic tanks, and rely on an informal market comprising small-scale local entrepreneurs for the emptying of faecal sludge.
We find that this sector’s functions are structured by the entrepreneurs themselves, who check competition, manage tariffs and mitigate operational risks through collective action. This arrangement relies on existing networks of kinship and friendship between operators.
Financially, the sector offers entrepreneurs a low but steady source of income given a recurrent demand for desludging service in the settlement. Nevertheless, the occupation remains a socially stigmatised activity as it deals with human excreta, which in India, is traditionally associated with low-caste communities.
The full report can be accessed here.