The untapped power of sanitation
Photo by Gram Vikas
As Joe Madiath is fond of reminding people, “shit” is not a glamorous issue. At the same
time, the organization he founded in 1979 has had a marked impact in delivering and scaling a holistic village development model that uses entry point concerns over clean water and sanitation as a tool to unite and empower communities. Requiring 100 percent ‘buy-in’ as a precondition for commencing new projects, Gram Vikas’ participatory and sustainable ‘MANTRA’ approach has achieved impressive results – eliminating 85 percent of water borne diseases in participating villages, and boosting school attendance from ten to 90 percent. From its origins in remote rural India, the model has been replicated in Tanzania and Gambia.