NEWS-UP: Non-conventional Energy in Water Sanitation for Urban Poor
Northeast's First Community led Solar Project for Water and Sanitation Dedicated to the Urban Poor

Location: (North East) Guwahati and Shillong

Objectives: About 748 million people still do not have access to an improved source of drinking water and 2.5billion do not use an improved sanitation facility and unsurprisingly 85% of this stock survives at the economic bottom-line, for poor water is a drop of fortune for survival.Project objective is to provide safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, for urban poor.

Target group: Urban poor, slum dwellers. The programme impacts the lives of over 14000 receivers of the project facilities surviving at the bottom of economic pyramid and ensures 24X7 supply of drinking water to nearly 2500 slum households.

Innovation: The project is implemented by SAFE under the aegis of World Bank Development Marketplace and is completely dedicated to the community. Using 8 KVA solar powered water treatment plant that daily dispenses up to 10,000 Liters of safe WHO standard drinking water to 1200 plus households breathing below poverty line. This innovative project showcases complete community governance for 24X7 equitable distribution of water through'Water ATMs' and assure complete hygiene with 'state-of-art bio-sanitation units' in the slum with the rebuff water from water treatment plant. The facility generates community biogas and organic manures from the refusals of bio-toilets as a revenue linked sustainable model for a climate adaptive city.The NEWS Hub is based on a revenue-generating model and is managed by a women-led Joint Liability Group.In the inner retail chain beneficiary households receive the first 10 liters of water free, after which they can buy water for USD 0.0077 per liter. In the outer retail chain the drinking water is sold commercially to city dwellers at USD 0.0115 per liter. At present the water share of inner and outer retail chains is 50:50.


1. Reduction in infections and water borne diseases by 90% in the community, rendering a cost cut of 40% on average in medical expenses.
2. Equitable access to water energy and sanitation to above 10,000 beneficiaries at the bottom of the economic pyramid and 24X7supply of drinking water to nearly 1200 slum households in a year.
3.Women are saving up to four hours a day, as they don't have to fetch water, which they can dedicate to looking after their families or employment.
4. 3500 women mainstreamed in WASH program through financial inclusion and micro insurance coverage with capacity building for 350 women for alternative livelihood.
5. Avoidance of emission equivalent to 3078MT of CO2eq by using new energy, water budgeting and solid waste management.
6. 98% community concurrence in sustainable use and wise governance on water and energy, as evidenced from attitude scaling survey.
7. The solar water treatment plant and the lights in the community sanitation areas have a carbon offset equivalent of 280 metric tons per year.