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Sanitation: How We’re Making a Difference

Learn about sanitation and how we are providing millions with cleaner, safer toilets.
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Domestos is waging a war on poor sanitation because right now a child dies every two minutes from a disease linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation [1]. A toilet can help change this. Our ambition is to help 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020 and through this, help save and change people’s lives for the better.

We fight the dangers of poor sanitation in two main ways; through our global partnership with UNICEF, and secondly through our schools-based Cleaner Toilets, Brighter Futures programme.

What is sanitation? A definition of sanitation

Sanitation means having reduced human exposure to diseases by providing a clean environment in which to live [2], which in many instances is the adequate disposal of sewage. It sounds simple, but one in three people globally [3] don’t have access to either of these things.

What does sanitation mean to human health? British Medical Journal readers voted it the best medical intervention in 150 years [4]. Quite simply, getting sanitation right will have a massive impact on improving human health. When people have their health, it becomes easier to achieve an education, get a job, and ultimately start breaking the cycle of poverty.

Our partnership with Unicef: fighting poor sanitation across the world

This partnership between Domestos and UNICEF is proof that working together can help save and change lives. When you buy a specially-marked bottle of Domestos, you don’t just buy an effective germ-kill product for your home, you contribute to UNICEF’s work to help every child have a clean, safe toilet.

Like the children at Goth Mahudi primary school, India, where the partnership provides access to clean, safe toilets, alongside sanitation and hygiene education.

With your support we’ve helped over 16 million people, and we won’t stop until every one has a clean, safe toilet.

The Domestos ‘Cleaner toilets, brighter futures’ initiative

Domestos believes a clean, safe school toilet is a right, not a privilege – shockingly, two thirds of schools in developing countries are not afforded this basic right [5]. When kids can’t use the toilets at school because they’re filthy, some simply stop using them which leads to serious health risks – particularly young women who are going through their menstruation cycle. When kids do use a toilet they can be exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.

Currently, 272 million school days [6] are lost each a year due to sickness caused by diseases linked to unsafe water and unsanitary conditions. Our Cleaner Toilets Brighter Futures programme tackles part of this enormous problem helping make school toilets cleaner and safer around the world.

Cleaner Toilets Brighter Futures uses the principles of behaviour change and works alongside janitors, teachers/principals and kids so they can learn the benefits of healthy hygiene habits and clean toilets, along with practical skills on how to keep them maintained and operational for the long term.

That’s how we’re helping to make a difference around the world – we’re unstoppable when it comes to the war on poor sanitation, helping people without toilets gain access to them, and helping schools maintain toilets so kids have better conditions at school and a chance to thrive.

[1] WHO: 2.1 billion people lack safe drinking water. As a result, every year, 361,000 children under 5 years of age die due to diarrhoea. Poor sanitation and contaminated water are also linked to transmission of diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, and typhoid.

[2] 2017 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, UNICEF

[3] 2017 Out Of Order: The State of the World’s Toilets 2017 report by WaterAid

[4] 2007 BMJ readers choose sanitation as the best medical advance since 1840, US National Library of Medicine

[5] 2010 Raising Clean Hands: Advancing Learning, Health, Participation through WASH in schools, UNICEF & Partners report

[6] 2010 Raising Clean Hands: Advancing Learning, Health, Participation through WASH in schools, UNICEF & Partners report