GNF - Setting up a hygiene infrastructure in India

Setting up a Hygiene Infrastructure in India

Improving hygienic conditions and safety, especially for women and girls, by providing toilets near their homes



According to UNICEF, India has the highest number of people in the world - about 620 million - who defecate in the open due to a lack of toilets and sanitation infrastructure, with the largest proportion living in rural areas. For this reason, the Indian government launched the ambitious Swachh Bharat (Clean India) programme in 2014, which aimed to provide access to toilets for a total of 600 million people by 2019. However, the poorest sections of the population in India's remote rural regions have so far only been partially reached by the measures.

Project goals

Among the population groups that have not yet sufficiently benefited from the creation of basic hygienic infrastructure (e.g. toilets and washbasins) are members of the Tharu tribe in northern India, in the border region with Nepal. Girls and women in particular suffer disproportionately in these communities - as elsewhere in India. The lack of toilets forces them, out of shame, to defecate in the dark and in the open, often at some distance from the village at the edge of the forest. There they are sometimes exposed to unprotected sexual assault.


In our project area in the north of the state of Bihar, there are also wild elephants and other wild animals such as leopards, which pose a danger to people who defecate in the open at the edge of the forest at night. To reduce these unnecessary dangers for the people concerned, toilets and sanitation infrastructure can be built for the Tharu communities at relatively low cost.

Project measures

In the project itself, sanitary facilities are being built in two communities, which will be equipped with flushing toilets and solar lamps. This will provide two toilets each for boys and men and two for girls and women. The villagers are familiar with flush toilets, so the new infrastructure will not be rejected.


In a further construction phase, a plant-based sewage treatment plant is to be built, in which the waste water from the sanitary facilities will be purified. 

 The material for the planned sanitary facilities is delivered.
 The sanitary building is taking shape brick by brick.
 Almost finished - The pipes for the waste water lead into a collection tank.
 Now all villagers can use the sanitary facilities.


 Die Gemeindeentwicklung wird unterstützt von Sika AG.

Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

The project should make a concrete contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

 Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
 Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
 Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Project partner

Nature Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS) is a non-profit NGO based in Kolkata, which was founded in 1991 and has so far been involved in over 40 projects for nature and ecosystem conservation, the preservation of natural resources and the preservation of the natural basis of life in poor rural communities. GNF has been working closely with NEWS since 2016, among others in two BMZ-funded projects in mangrove protection. The reduction of conflicts between humans and elephants is another long-standing focal point of NEWS' work.

 Nature Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS)

Contact persons

Ms Laura Maeso Velasco

Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Office Bonn

Phone: +49 228 184 86 94 16



Mr Thies Geertz

Global Nature Fund (GNF) - Office Radolfzell

Phone: +49 7732 9995 83



Project duration:


Project country: 


Project partner:



December 2020 - November 2021




Nature Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS)


Sika AG