The initial sections of the report briefly explain the economic aspects of the sanitation and snapshot of WASH economy in the country. It narrates the magnitude of economic losses associated with poor sanitation in developing countries. The section also highlights previous and current government programmes in which the expenditure in the WASH sector has occurred.
The primary research for understanding the WASH economy was done in the three project cities. The WASH value chain is quite complex and involves expenditure at multiple levels and by a number of stakeholders; it was important to determine the boundary conditions to prepare the present WASH economy study. A brief methodology is presented to explain the rationale and approach adopted to collect the information related to this report.
The core section of the report is mapping the WASH sector market economy in the project cities. Since sanitary hardware and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) such as toiletries are consumed mostly in the domestic sector; the current assessment is limited to them being evaluated from formal and informal markets as well as services offered in the sector. The manufacturing, supply chain, services and livelihood associated with the WASH sector
is also unpacked in this section. With the huge penetration of internet and smartphones in India, online trading and service delivery is on the rise. With the changing lifestyles and capacity to spend more, to purchase innovative WASH products; it is essential for service providers like masons and plumbers as well as sanitary workers to build their capacities towards the changing realm of service delivery mechanism. For this, government and civil society groups conduct various programmes. The report highlights the situation in the three project cities on this.
In order to reinforce the future attempts to map the WASH economy of the country, a set of recommendations are mentioned in the Way Forward in three broad categories Government, Private Sector and Consumers.
The report is a novel effort in understanding the economy of WASH albeit focused on the three cities of Udaipur, Faridabad, and Mysuru. It is evident that WASH as a sector has a resounding impact on the local economies of these cities. As such, similar efforts in understanding the sector and its concomitant impacts on the gross domestic product (GDP) and livelihood at the national level will be worth to attempt.