For the past 40 years, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has been working to address the challenges of water and sanitation in India. It has developed significant expertise in the fields of improving access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene promotion. AKF’s work also supports the sanitation target of the Sustainable Development Goals, which calls for safely managed sanitation facilities for all by 2030 and the elimination of open defecation.
In 2015, in response to the Government of India’s flagship programme, AKF launched its Comprehensive Sanitation Initiative. Over five years, the Initiative facilitated access to improved sanitation and hygiene for over 700,000 people in six states through direct field level interventions and technical assistance. A key component is generating demand for improved hygiene practices, thereby tackling age-old norms and transforming long-standing behaviour change that improves the quality of life.