Sanitation is a basic human right, so it’s hard to image that a staggering one third of the world’s population does not have access to improved sanitation. Domestos, is working to change this, in support of the UN’s 17 Global Goals.
Around the world, 2.5 billion people are without access to improved sanitation and, of these, a staggering 1 billion people practise open defecation, putting themselves and their communities at risk of diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid. In South Africa, more than 20 million people are living without access to proper sanitation. The fact is that more people have access to mobile phones than to a flushing toilet. What is even more frightening is that, of 24 000 public schools in the country, only 8 000 have flushing toilets. When hygiene and sanitation is poor and safe water is scarce, the risk of contracting diseases is high. As a result, an estimated 443 million school days are missed worldwide every year1, that’s the same as every school in South Africa being empty for 2 months!
Domestos is committed to helping 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020. The Domestos school renovation programme in South Africa has addressed the issue of sanitation one facility at a time, installing new sinks, toilets and taps, plus painting walls and changing doors. The ‘Cleaner Toilets, Brighter Future’ initiative has been a positive step towards making the lives of school children cleaner and safer, providing them with a germ free environment. To ensure upkeep of the new facilities, in 2012, schools were provided with a janitor to maintain the bathrooms, along with a monthly supply of Domestos cleaning products and toilet paper.
2015 has seen the launch of the Hygiene Education Programme, named the ‘Germ Buster Club’, in 150 schools in South Africa. The programme aims to inspire children to become sanitation ambassadors to their parents and help spread awareness of the importance of keeping toilets clean and hygienic at all times.
To date, over 23 000 pupils from 23 schools in South Africa now have access to adequate sanitation. As a result, disease and infection has decreased by at least 70% and school attendance has increased by 80%. In total, the ‘Germ Buster Club’ has already impacted the lives of over 100 000 children. For pupils, like Thembeka from Saphinda primary school in Umlazi, having access to clean toilets means more than just access to a safe place to relieve themselves, it represents the opportunity for a bright future.
Unilever supports the UN’s Global Goals For Sustainable Development. Since we launched our Sustainable Living Plan in 2010, we have worked with families, communities and households all around the world to help make a difference to millions of lives by showing how small actions can help create a bright future. Global Goal number 6: Clean Water & Sanitation will work to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for everyone, everywhere, at all ages.
We believe in a future where everyone has access to a clean, safe toilet. These global sanitation programmes are not only helping to prevent diseases, they are building economies and restoring dignity. Domestos’ mission is closely aligned with the UN’s Global Goals and the team were on site at this year’s Global Citizen Festival in New York to highlight the importance of ending open defecation, worldwide.
This World Toilet Day: 19th November 2015, help us support the #GlobalGoals for a #brightFutureSA. There are lots of ways we can all help to improve sanitation for millions of families.
Here are some of them:
- Watch and share the No More Sick Days film with friends and family to help spread awareness of the right to sanitation and access to a clean toilet for everyone, everywhere.
- Read more about the work that Domestos is doing to improve the sanitation crisis and how it’s benefitting families in South Africa and worldwide.
- Join Domestos on Facebook to keep up to date and show your support this World Toilet Day.