Securing access to safe sanitation in Jaipur

A woman in a red sari and head scarf walking by six back-to-back concrete toilet cubicles in an outdoor urban environment in Jaipur, India. The wide, green-coloured door of one cubicle can be seen to the right and green railing along the walkway in the foreground, which leads to a ramp at the left and steps at the right. They are community toilets that are gender-inclusive, accessible and safely managed.

Water for Women partner CFAR supported the design and construction of these safely managed, gender-inclusive and accessible community toilets in Jawahar Nagar, Jaipur (CFAR / Amarjeet Kumar Singh)


In Jaipur, safe sanitation has been placed within reach of many of the most vulnerable within the community, thanks to the support of Water for Women partner, the Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), India.

Supported by Australia through Water for Women, CFAR helped to facilitate the design and construction of gender-inclusive and accessible community toilets that are now situated in Jawahar Nagar slum area, Tila no. 7, where they are benefiting a large cross-section of the community, including people from scheduled caste groups and tribes, persons with disabilities, women and the poor.

Jaipur is currently in the midst of rapid urbanisation growth, while at the same time, confronting the impacts of climate change. For approximately 10% of the population who live in informal urban settlements, these impacts exacerbate their multidimensional disadvantage.

According to the Socio-economic Vulnerability Index, around half of Jaipur's informal settlements are at medium to high risk of climate-related disasters, including cyclonic storms and flash floods, which wreak havoc on unsafe sanitation systems and non-resilient water services. This is not only a problem for the approximate 30% of households that experience severe water shortages and are unable to access a toilet following flash floods and heavy rainfall — environmental contamination from unsafe sanitation practices and systems affects everyone. Across Jaipur, 38 areas are defined as critically polluted under the Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index, with high levels of faecal, chemical and heavy metal contamination of groundwater sources, which the population is heavily reliant on.

Reflecting a diversity of viewpoints and lived experience, the Jawahar Nagar community toilets were designed, and construction overseen by a Gender Resource Group comprising 14 members of CFAR's Single Window Forum and members of the community management committee from six informal settlements in Jaipur, including single women, men, persons with disabilities, transgender, adolescent and elderly people, and sanitation workers.

Ensuring their sustainability, functionality and inclusivity, the design of the toilets was technically vetted by engineers, UNICEF water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) experts, and the community-based transgender organisation, Nai Bhor. Each cubicle has grab bars, railings, western toilet seats and tactile flooring, and the toilets are segregated for women/trans-women and men/trans-men, in addition to one being reserved for children. A sanitary napkin vending machine, incinerator, nursing and baby changing room are also available.

The Jawahar Nagar community toilets serve as an example of inclusive, accessible and safely managed sanitation, which councillors in Japiur keenly promote to those in neighbouring councils to encourage them to follow in their footsteps. They also demonstrate how prioritising gender equality, disability and social inclusion in WASH is not only the right thing to do, but critical to accelerate change for Sustainable Development Goal 6, and all others, and build resilience. 

Water for Women partners with CFAR to deliver climate-resilient and socially inclusive WASH services to 74,420* people living in 215 informal settlements by the end of 2024 through the project, Building Climate-Resilient WASH for Climate-Impacted Vulnerable Populations in Bhubaneswar and Jaipur. A strong focus on systems strengthening, including partnering with government to integrate climate resilience into inclusive national WASH policy and subnational WASH programs, will help to ensure these benefits are sustained.


On #WorldToiletDay 2023, CFAR launched this fantastic video recapping their sanitation journey.

November 19th is World Toilet Day and this year's theme, 'Accelerating change' reflects the urgency of sanitation action to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 - safe water and sanitation for all - and all other SDGs by 2030.

The global sanitation crisis poses a threat to nature and everyone’s health, but especially women, girls, people with disabilities, people from sexual and gender minority and other marginalised groups, who are disproportionately affected by unsafe sanitation and climate change.

Adaptation and mitigation go hand-in-hand for sanitation. Safe sanitation has the power to significantly reduce methane emissions and protect the health and well-being of people and ecosystems.

The time is now for sanitation action!


*Project targets are based on partner Civil Society Organisations (CSO) project baseline studies. Project targets are updated periodically in response to changes in context as appropriate.


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