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2.3b People Lack Access to Safe Toilets, 892m do Open Defecation

By Dipo Olowookere

A global leader in the housing and building industry, LIXIL Group, has promised to improve access to sanitation for 100 million people by 2020.

This pledge is coming as the world makes effort to assist the approximately 2.3 billion people who lack access to safe and sanitary toilets.

LIXIL Group Corporation, which endorsed a joint declaration with the World Toilet Organization, Saraya Co Ltd, and the ANA BLUE WING Program on sanitation and hygiene, said it was committed to providing safe toilets to people across the globe.

The declaration outlines their joint commitment to support the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6): Ensure access to water and sanitation for all. The declaration was announced at an event in Tokyo to mark the World Toilet Day.

Out of the 2.3 billion people without access to safe and sanitary toilets, around 892 million people are forced to practice open defecation.

Every day, 800 children under five years old die from diarrheal diseases due to unclean water or poor sanitary conditions.

According to a survey conducted by LIXIL Group and Oxford Economics, the economic impact of poor sanitation amounted to $223 billion annually as of 2015.

As part of the declaration, LIXIL Group, the World Toilet Organization, Saraya, and the ANA BLUE WING Program believe that in order to realize SDG 6, affordable and sustainable innovations and solutions must be brought to market, and that Japan has an important role to play owing to its unique and advanced toilet culture.

The World Toilet Organization, LIXIL Group, Saraya, and the ANA BLUE WING Program will utilize their accumulated knowledge and expertise to promote activities aimed at resolving sanitation issues around the world.

Speaking at the Tokyo event, World Toilet Organization founder and CEO, Jack Sim, said, “Toilets are culture. With good toilet culture, behaviour change will come. Japan has successfully exported many aspects of its culture to the world, for example manga, Japanese food, kaizen; now is the time for Japan’s toilet culture.

“Today’s declaration is the first step. We call upon others in Japan to join this movement. This will bring many benefits to those in the world who lack proper sanitation, and also enhance Japan’s soft power.”

LIXIL Group Executive Officer and Senior Managing Director, Jin Montesano, said, “At LIXIL we believe that access to safe and hygienic sanitation is a basic human right, and that the knowledge and technologies exist to tackle this problem.

“We are committed to playing our part to bring innovative and sustainable solutions to market, such as the SATO range of affordable toilet products, and enhancing coordination with other Japanese stakeholders in line with today’s declaration.”

As a global leader in sanitary ware and water technology, LIXIL Group has pledged to improve access to sanitation for 100 million people by 2020.

To achieve this, the company has established a dedicated business called Social Sanitation Initiatives that is developing and bringing to market innovative technologies aimed at the base of the pyramid.

Among these are the SATO range of affordable toilet solutions, which are already trusted and used by more than six million people in over 15 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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