Can you imagine if every child in Australia missed school for six months per year because of sickness?
The fact is that this is a reality in many countries. In the developing world 443 million school days are missed because of sickness caused by unsanitary toilets. That’s the same as every school in Australia being empty for six months!
For thousands, life changing programmes are paving the way for a better future but there’s still a long way to go, as 950 million people around the world still have no access to sanitation facilities. That’s why Domestos is on a mission to help provide 25 million people with improved access to a toilet by 2020 as toilets do change lives. That might sound strange but access to a safe toilet has numerous benefits.
Access to a safe toilet can…
- Help prevent dangerous diseases such as diarrhoea, which kills a child every 2 minutes¹[i].
- Protect women and girls from the risk of shame, harassment and even attack because they have nowhere safe to go to the toilet.
- Help children grow up healthy, prevent growth stunting and help them stay in school.
How can you help?
- Every specially marked bottle of Domestos sold contributes directly to UNICEF’s global sanitation programmes. Buy a bottle, help change a life today.
- You can share this World Toilet Day video:
..to spread the word about the importance of toilets for children’s health, safety and education. Find out how Domestos are working to keep kids in the classroom. Read about it here.
We want to show you just how lucky you are to have access to a clean, safe, toilet. It is time to celebrate your loo…
See the top 9 reasons life is lovelier with a loo below:
1) Better Education
Access to a safe, clean loo keeps children healthier so that fewer school days are missed as a result of illnesses due to poor sanitation. This means they get a better education, have a chance to shape their future and can become the next generation of Doctors and teachers. Currently, 443 million school days are lost each year due to diseases caught through a lack of access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene².
2) Better Health
Access to safe, clean, toilets can help make a whole community, especially its children healthy. Today, preventable illnesses, such as diarrhoea, caused by poor sanitation and unsafe drinking water kill a child every 2 minutes¹.
3) Better Safety
Access to a safe, secure toilet means people, especially women, become confident and secure in the knowledge they are avoiding the risk of harassment, rape or animal attacks when they go to the toilet in the open.
4) More Time
Access to a safe, secure loo means people like Domitila, Mildred and 2 month old Cheryl (below, left to right) have more time to spend with their families since they don’t have to spend hours walking to find a safe and private place to go to the toilet.
5) More Confidence
When girls get access to safe, clean, toilets it gives them confidence at school and opportunities for better access to education, like Irene from Agoro Oyombe Primary School in Kenya. Many girls without access to a toilet risk embarrassment, harassment and even attack when they have nowhere safe to go to the toilet. As well as this, many miss important days off school when they are on their period due to lack of sanitation facilities.
6) Better Community Spirit
The Domestos, Unilever Foundation, and UNICEF Partnership educates and engages communities to work together, giving themselves the opportunity to create a brighter future for their children and future generations through access to sanitation.
Having a safe, healthy village where everyone has access to toilets instils a sense of pride in the community. Grace Oluoch, a health worker, beams with pride after she helped her village become open defecation free. She knows she has carved a brighter future for generations to come.
8) Better hygiene
Safe, clean toilets in a community mean human waste doesn’t contaminate the environment, the home, and the food or water sources. As well as educating people on the importance of clean, safe toilets, villagers also learn about hygienic habits such as handwashing, which is also crucial for combatting diseases like diarrhoea.
9) More happiness
All of this contributes to happier, healthier and safer communities. This is all achieved because of access to a clean, safe, loo.
Thanks to the global partnership between Unilever and UNICEF, 1,320,000 people have been reached with behaviour change programmes, helping to ensure improved health, safety, and dignity.
Of these, 655,000 people are now living in open defecation free communities.
As well as this, 69,000 school children have benefited from sanitation and hygiene education programmes in 260 schools, meaning fewer sick days and more children staying in school.* This is all part of Unilever’s goal to help provide 25 million people with improved access to a toilet by 2020.
(*Figures are based on actual reported beneficiaries reached to-date in conjunction with funds dispersed in 2012 -2014)
[i] 1. U5 mortality: 6.3 million under-five deaths in 2013.
Source: IGME, Levels & Trends in Child Mortality: Report 2014 (Source: IGME, 2014:http://www.childmortality.org/files_v17/download/UNICEF%202014%20IGME%20child%20mortality%20Report_Final.pdf)
Diarrhoeal deaths: 577,500 (9.2%) of under-five deaths are due to diarrhoeal diseases
Source: Analysis based on CHERG estimates presented in “Committing to Child Survival – A Promise Renewed: Progress Report 2014 at http://files.unicef.org/publications/files/APR_2014_web_15Sept14.pdf
Fraction attributable to WASH: 361,000 diarrhoeal deaths in 2012 (out of 6.6 million in total in 2012)
Source: Prüss-Ustün et al (2014) Burden of disease from inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene in low- and middle-income settings: a retrospective analysis of data from 145 countries. Tropical Medicine and International Health
2 WHO/UNICEF JMP, Update on Drinking Water and sanitation, Update 2014