Bottom Up Development in Mumbai


Toilet blocks that were provided by the city government charged individual prices for each use, which made them too expensive for families. The city toilets were badly designed, without running water, and government employees failed to clean them.

  • SPARC is an Indian NGO that works with communities in Mumbai to build new toilet blocks, connected to city sewers and water supplies. The local community helps to construct the toilet black and families from the community can then purchase monthly permits to use it for a very cheap price- about 25p.
  • Once they have a permit, they can use the toilet block as many times as they want during the month.
  • The SPARC toilet blocks have electric lights, making them safer to use at night, and separate toilets for children.

In the past 5 years, SPARC has provided 800 community toilet blocks, each containing 8 toilets.

Advantages and Disadvantages

This project has responded directly to community needs and has involved the community in providing solutions, however, it can take time to gain permits.

What is life like in Mumbai's slums?
Your answer should include: Poor / Health / Sewage / Dirty
Explain how SPARC are working to improve life for Mumbai's poor.
Your answer should include: Toilets / Electric / Lights / Cheap
Evaluate the success of the SPARC project.
Your answer should include: Time / Permits / 800 / Toilets