BORDA in India

Our partnerships are leading the way in piloting innovative sanitation solutions for cities across South Asia

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.

On the Ground in India - Our Projects

26 July 2018

Collaboration is everything: high-altitude faecal sludge management (FSM) in Leh, India

In the Himalayan district of Ladakh, the city of Leh has the world’s highest faecal sludge treatment plant (FSTP), designed at 12,000 ft and operated in a public-private partnership
26 July 2018

Strengthening the operation & maintenance sector for servicing decentralised urban sanitation infrastructure in Karnataka, India

Increasing access to safe basic sanitation facilities by strengthening the enabling environment for cities and companies 
26 July 2018

Small-Scale Sanitation Scaling-Up (4S): developing evidence-based policy recommendations in India and Nepal

Since 2016, a research consortium comprising Eawag, the Nepal-based NGO ENPHO, BORDA, IIT Madras and CDD Society has been assessing more than 300 sanitation systems as part of the 4S project