When 15,000 school children in the United Kingdom were asked to describe their ideal school, one of the most important criteria was "clean toilets that lock”. Yet nearly one in three schools around the world still don’t have a useable toilet.
It’s a shocking situation, and one that we should all be shouting about. But the reality is school toilets aren’t considered newsworthy. That’s why World Toilet Day on November 19th is so important; it’s the one day we want everyone to be talking about toilets.
For Domestos, World Toilet Day is not just about how to install more toilets, rather it is about how to keep existing ones maintained and operational, so people can and want to use them.
We can’t do this alone. So we’re calling on everyone from parents to governments, businesses to entrepreneurs to play their part. Here are a few ways you can make a difference this World Toilet Day.
FOR PARENTS: Use social media to shine a spotlight on the issue
Campaigning for sanitation in schools and villages without access to useable toilets is critical. We want to spark discussion and increase understanding at all levels from the upper echelons of government to communities at a grassroots level.
Toilets are easy to overlook but sustained behaviour change is vital to better, healthier futures and for change to happen we must start with awareness – your voice can help.
Repost the content you see on #worldtoiletday and add your own thoughts to the conversation.
FOR BUSINESSES AND ENTREPENEURS: Build strong public-private partnerships
The fact remains that no business, government, or community can have the impact needed when they work alone. Businesses, governments, and NGOs must work in partnership to accelerate impact towards better, safer sanitation for all.
Domestos works at a global level with UNICEF, focused on improved sanitation in India, and to date we’ve reached over 28 million people. However, to localise our impact we work with specialist organisations, like GIZ, to adapt and deliver our own ‘Cleaner Toilets Brighter Futures’ school’s programme.
FOR GOVERNMENTS AND NGOs: Call for the maintenance and operation of toilets to be simplified
When governments and aid organisations break sanitation into small steps rather than focussing on a massive upfront investment or resource, schools and communities are much more likely to begin the journey to improved sanitation.
Our Cleaner Toilets Brighter Futures programme works with schools to do just this. The preliminary research has shown that the usability of the school toilets has improved four-fold and the cleanliness has improved by two-thirds.
FOR EVERYONE: Expect the most from the brands you buy and the charities you donate to
Nobody could foresee the COVID-19 pandemic and the enormous pressure this would place on the focus and funding needed to address the worldwide gaps in sanitation. Yet the ‘International Aid Transparency Initiative’ reported that donor funding for water and sanitation fell by 30% in 2021.
Charities like UNICEF have programmes dedicated to improving global sanitation. And brands, like Domestos invest time and money into fighting the dangers of unsafe sanitation. By buying products that support these causes, or donating to charities that specifically address issues in sanitation, you’re choosing to give someone a better future.
UNICEF does not endorse any company, brand, product or service.