India with its population of over 1.3 billion people is a land of contrasts, geographically and socially. The middle and upper classes are expanding in the cities, while the majority of the population remains in poverty. 30% of the world’s poorest people live in India. 50% of the population lacks access to sanitation. Less than 30% of India’s wastewater is treated; the Ganges is one of the most polluted rivers in the world.
Four decades of improving living conditions
BORDA has been active in India since 1979. Expanding on our early work in renewable energy and supporting women’s groups in poor urban areas, BORDA now focuses on decentralised sanitation solutions. Our South Asia regional office in Bangalore coordinates projects in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan. In India we have worked primarily in the states of Karnataka, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh on a range of topics including water and sanitation, infrastructure for livelihoods, basic needs services, energy, and school-based sanitation.
A fruitful partnership
Since late 2002, BORDA has been collaborating with CDD Society, a consortium of Indian organisations based in Bangalore. Due to the high need for basic sanitation in India, BORDA and CDD not only implement their own projects, but also train professionals locally and in our jointly run Centre for Advanced Sanitation Solutions (CASS) training facility. CASS also conducts research projects on wastewater management and has a production facility for prefabricated decentralised wastewater treatment systems (DEWATS), a permanent exhibition on basic sanitation, and a team of experts that works on citywide sanitation planning and the design and construction of DEWATS.
To achieve sustainable sanitation in cities, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports BORDA and CDD Society’s work in India. The goal of the funding is to develop regulations, on a municipal and federal level, for operating and maintaining decentralised sanitation infrastructure.
In addition, BORDA and CDD Society are testing technology innovations and business models, and developing training for service providers.
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