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Using innovative tech to bring clean water and sanitation

Project time period


A four-year partnership with Practical Action provided 42,000 people in Choudwar with clean water and sanitation services, using innovative technology.

This project aimed 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 was targeting underserved communities in Odisha state reaching the town Choudwar, with about 50,000 inhabitants.

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

“The setup of this project was 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 was turned into bio-gas and fertilizer, waste water was collected and treated and roof based rainwater harvesting and filtering technologies provide clean water.

Project Specifics

  • Financial Support: 11 million Swedish krona
  • Period: 20152021
  • Countries: India
  • Focus Areas: Water
  • Partners: Practical Action

Expected outcome:

  • 42,000 people in Choudwar were reached with water and sanitation services through the project.
  • 1 bio-digester was installed, enabling faecal sludge to be turned into biogas.
  • Combined with an educational campaign, the practise of hand-washing increased from a mere 45% of the population in 2017, to more than 98% today.