Using innovative tech to bring clean water and sanitation

A four-year partnership with Practical Action will provide 45,000 people in Choudwar with clean water and sanitation services, using innovative technology.

This project aims to pilot innovative technology for faecal sludge management going full circle – from toilets to disposal of waste to bio-gas and compost to energy and clean water technology. The project targets underserved communities in Odisha state reaching the town Choudwar, with about 50,000 inhabitants.

Choudwar town has no sewerage system today, and faecal contamination has made water borne diseases common, as sludge waste collected from septic tanks is tipped into the public drains, and other water bodies nearby. The project will use innovative technology to tackle the sanitation crisis.

“The setup of this project is indeed impressive; introducing pioneering approaches using innovative technology within human waste management and at the same time focusing on community buy-in and behavioral change.”

— Maria Bystedt, Program Manager H&M Foundation

For example, human waste will be turned into bio-gas (that can be used for cooking for example) and fertilizer (that can be used for farming), waste water will be collected and treated and roof based rainwater harvesting and filtering technologies will provide clean water.

“Poor sanitation in Choudwar is causing a host of health problems for the people that live there.” Said Paul Smith-Lomas, CEO of Practical Action. “Through this project, slum dwellers will have access to simple solutions including toilets, clean water points and sewage management systems that will change their lives for the better and help them to escape poverty.”


of the slum dwellers of Choudwar have poor or no access to sanitation services today.


people in Choudwar will be directly reached with water and sanitation services through the project.


bio-digester will be installed, enabling faecal sludge from at least 8,000 households to be turned into biogas.

  • Total donation: 11 million Swedish krona
  • People reached by 2019: 42,000
  • Partners: Practical Action

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Global Program for Water

Across the world, women are forced to waste precious time walking long distances to collect dirty water. Girls are dropping out of school because there are no private toilets, and young children are not surviving to see their fifth birthday because of preventable diseases. The lack of clean drinking water and functioning toilets affects the lives of millions of people. More than 10% of the world’s population still live without safe water to drink and must drink water that can make them sick, and one in three live without a decent toilet. In the Global Program for Water, the H&M Foundation together with WaterAid, worked to change this.