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Joining Forces With UNICEF In The Global Battle Against Poor Sanitation And Open Defecation

Due to lack of access to a toilet or latrine, the World Health Organisation estimates 892 million people around the globe are forced into open defecation, meaning they have to defecate in the open.[1] The situation isn’t merely degrading – it’s potentially lethal. Improper disposal of human waste contaminates water supplies and encourages the spread of deadly diseases.

Improving water sanitation and hygiene both saves and transforms lives. This is why Domestos has partnered with UNICEF. Our combined global mission? To improve access to sanitary toilets and educate people on the importance of sanitation. Together, UNICEF and Domestos are unstoppable in the fight against poor hygiene and sanitation. We’ve already helped 10 million people get access to toilets so far, and we’re going to help at least 10 million more over the next two years.

Poor water sanitation and hygiene kills

Tragically, every two minutes a child dies from a disease linked to poor water sanitation and hygiene. Much of this is down to open defecation. Access to a toilet and education on hygiene and sanitation can help eradicate this problem and save lives.

According to the South African Early Childhood Review, in 2017, 1.5 million children under six still don’t have a toilet or pit latrine on the site where they live.[2] Lack of sanitation is a leading cause of diarrhoea, which accounts for 20% of all deaths of children under the age of five nationwide.

Alice, an aunt and mother in Kenya, lost her niece to diarrhoea before toilets were built in her village four years ago. “Now I am very happy since toilets appeared, fewer people have been getting sick.”

Sanitation in India: Domestos and UNICEF’s work

India is the world’s second-largest nation in terms of population. It also has the highest number of people without basic sanitation (732 million). From 2018 onwards, the Domestos UNICEF global partnership will focus on India, working with villages across the country to help people without toilets get access to one for the very first time.

Good hygiene and sanitation in schools transforms lives

It may shock you to learn that one in three schools worldwide lack basic toilet facilities. Not only does this put millions of children at risk of contracting life-threatening diseases and illnesses, it also affects school attendance. When schools have toilets, more children attend, and they have better health.

For instance, the provision of sanitation in India’s Alwar district increased girls’ enrolment by a third. Academic performance for boys and girls increased by 25% after toilets were installed.

Teenager Akanksha spent five years on a mission to get a toilet for each family in her village in western India. Why? So the girls would have better lives and brighter futures. Since getting toilets, more of her friends go to school and have fewer sick days.

One in three people in the world is in danger of sickness, disease and death because they don’t have access to a toilet. We are proud to have joined forces with UNICEF in the fight for everyone’s right to a clean toilet.[3]

*Income from sales of Domestos products in South Africa will not be directed towards the project with UNICEF.

[1] Sanitation, World Health Organisation

[2] South African Early Childhood Review