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IRC will present its WASHCost calculator at a fair showcasing innovations in the sanitation sector.

THE HAGUE, 20 March 2014 – IRC announced today that it will be an exhibitor at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India event which will be co-hosted by the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in March 2014. IRC will showcase the WASHCost Calculator that aims to help bring sanitation to those who need it most, entitled 'the WASHCost project'. The fair is also supported by the Indian Ministry of Urban Development.

Of the 1.1 billion people who defecate in the open, almost 60 percent are Indian.

The Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India aims to stimulate discussion and spur partnerships to improve global sanitation and bring affordable sanitation solutions to people who need it most. The fair is also an opportunity to recognize India’s leadership and commitment to improving child health and fostering innovative solutions to persistent development challenges. IRC’s project is one of approximately 50 exhibits that will be on display during the two-day fair.

IRC will present the WASHCost Calculator; an online tool that helps professionals to plan for WASH services that are built to last. WASH organisations working in developing countries have largely been focusing on infrastructure, instead of providing services. The result is that pumps break down, water stops flowing, and investment is wasted. To combat this short-term planning, the WASHCost Calculator was developed.

The Calculator takes into account everything from construction, finance, and installation, to maintenance, repairs and eventual replacement. It raises issues such as who owns the infrastructure or who is responsible for replacement. It helps you to think about how you are going to maintain the service before you’re trying to build it. The online tool is designed to compare data across organisations and is dynamically updated, growing smarter with each additional project. And the tool is now online (see links below).

“Of the 1.1 billion people who defecate in the open, almost 60 percent are Indian,” said Professor K. VijayRaghavan, secretary of the Indian Department of Biotechnology. “Sanitation solutions using the latest technology need not be complex or driven by expensive gadgetry, but they need to be innovative and address the many aspects of this multifaceted problem.”

“Today, because of a lack of toilets and poorly functioning infrastructure, massive amounts of untreated waste winds up in the environment, spreading disease,” said Brian Arbogast, director of the Water, Sanitation & Hygiene team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We are privileged to host the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India with our partners to advance conversations about sanitation – it is a testament to the Indian government’s commitment to improving how we deal with this pressing problem.”

Note: attendance at the fair is by invitation only. No further invitations will be extended.

For more detailed information on the Calculator, please contact Nicolas Dickinson at: washcostcalculator@ircwash.org

Contact Details: Local requests (India): Dr. Kurian Baby, +91 81 29 876383