STATES CHRONICLE – For most of the ones reading this article, life without a safe and clean toilet is something unthinkable. However, this is the harsh reality for 1 in 3 people around the world, something the United Nations is trying to raise awareness about.
This is how the World Toilet Day was first born in 2013, on 19th November, a day recognized yearly ever since. The UN is drawing attention on health issues that come from the lack of access to sanitation by addressing the crisis one clean toilet at a time.
Poor sanitation can affect school attendance, create sanitation-related health complications, and expose women to risk of assault, to mention only some of the dangers. This year has marked an important step toward resolving the sanitation crisis as the United Nations General Assembly has signed the Global Goals in September.
The Global Goals represent a well-thought roadmap that sets the targets for global development until 2030. Seeing that improving sanitation is a big part of these plans, universal collaboration and sustained commitment are the only ones that could help achieving them.
Reaching 2 billion people every day with its brands, Unilever is one of the multinationals that can play a great role in the sanitation goal. They have already considered the moral and business elements of such an action, like the fact that gaining the benefits of a clean toilet will make people demand a cleaner environment altogether.
Inadequate sanitation also affects children’s education, a fact highlighted on this World Toilet Day by UNICEF. The organization’s reports show that children in the developing world are forced to take 443 million sick days due to unsanitary toilet conditions. In other words, that’s the equivalent of every child in Britain skipping school for 3 months.
UNICEF has partnered with Domestos to put an end to this inequality and speed up the progress on the UN’s Global Goals, creating the Domestos Toilet Academy. The program will help local entrepreneurs to set up businesses that will install hygienic toilets.
The project has already had two successes in Vietnam and it’s also gaining momentum in India, where almost half of the population are subject to open defecation. Local entrepreneurs are trained to make toilets accessible and teach their communities about the benefits of a clean environment.
More than 1.3 million people in 2,000+ communities have been reached by the Domestos-UNICEF partnership, where women can now relieve themselves without the risk of harassment, shame, or attack.
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