After the Flush

by Kate Roberts, Senior Vice President, PSI, Co-Founder Maverick Collective @KateRobertsPSI

One in five Indian children die from diarrhea caused by unhygienic conditions.

Addressing this risk extends well beyond access to toilets. The sanitation market serving Indian consumers has broken down: most toilets in India rely on pits or septic tanks to be emptied by unregulated private service providers who dump waste in unauthorized areas.

In response to the illegal dumping of waste, PSI India started a pilot program in the city of Patna, Bihar state, India. The program created an association of private tanker operators to advocate at the local government level for access to the city’s sewerage system. The local government, in partnership with the association, licensed the operators to ensure high-quality services for consumers. The association also established a hotline and public promotion events to ensure the new services were readily accessible.

This pilot, dubbed After the Flush, received seed funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The next stage will be scaled by members of Maverick Collective in partnership with the Forum of Young Global Leaders at the World Economic Forum.

Harnessing the expertise, networks and commitment of a global community of partners to adapt and scale the success of the Patna pilot, After the Flush plans to bring the power of good hygiene to 10 more cities across India.


This article appears in PSI’s Impact magazine, released in tandem with Women Deliver 2019, as part of an ongoing conversation about putting #PowerInHerHands.

Banner Image: Mr. Bahadur, a tanker operator in Patna, uses his tanker for a pit cleaning on site at a private home. Photo credit: Malcolm Quigley

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