A UNICEF corporate partner since 2018
LIXIL and UNICEF have joined forces in an ambitious partnership with an innovative approach to address the pressing global sanitation crisis. UNICEF plays a crucial role in promoting behavior change to eradicate open defecation, which poses health risks and spreads disease. LIXIL is a global leader in water and housing products, has successfully developed cost-effective and practical toilet solutions tailored for underserved markets in Africa and Asia. Through this partnership, UNICEF and LIXIL are committed to making a significant impact on the worldwide mission of ending open defecation and providing access to adequate and equitable sanitation for all by 2030.
Children and sanitation
When children have access to basics, like a toilet, they acquire the ability to adopt healthy habits that safeguard them from illnesses and diseases throughout their lives. Water and sanitation-related diseases remain one of the leading causes of preventable death for children under five years old. Every day, hundreds of children die from preventable diseases caused by inadequate water supply, poor sanitation, and lack of hygiene.
An estimated 3.6 billion people – almost half the global population – live without access to safely managed sanitation. These figures come with a devastating human cost: each day, around 1000 children under 5 die from diarrheal diseases attributed directly or indirectly to unsafe water, sanitation and hand hygiene.
Putting an end to open defecation, where people resort to urinating or defecating by the roadside or behind bushes, is an indispensable initial step in preserving the lives of millions of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable children. Providing them with access to proper sanitation facilities not only protects their health but also grants them the opportunity to live with dignity.
UNICEF and LIXIL
This is the first global shared-value partnership with UNICEF in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector. Launched in 2018, the ‘Make a Splash!’ (MaS!) partnership between LIXIL and UNICEF combines the two organizations’ complementary strengths to support progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 to ensure access to water and sanitation for all.
The partnership builds on UNICEF and LIXIL’s respective strengths to deliver on our shared ambition to tackle the global sanitation crisis. UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, working in over 190 countries together with partners. Understanding the profound impact of poor sanitation and hygiene services on the health and well-being of children, UNICEF launched in 2022 the Game Plan to Reach Safely Managed Sanitation. In collaboration with partners, UNICEF will directly and indirectly support 1 billion people worldwide in gaining access to safely managed sanitation through the plan.
At the same time, LIXIL has been looking at ways to provide basic sanitation to some of the world’s poorest households and communities, including through its SATO Toilet Systems.
The MaS! partnership shows how businesses such as LIXIL can support governments to strengthen systems to effectively enable market-based sanitation programmes to accelerate progress towards achieving SDG 6.2, to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation by 2030.
In just three years, MaS! helped improve sanitation and hygiene for 2.9 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. Building on the success of the partnership, we expanded our scope to reach children and families in 6 countries to include India, Indonesia and Nigeria in 2022. Through joint advocacy efforts and solutions that cater to the unique needs of communities, we are confident that we can bring lasting change, and make a positive difference for generations to come.
Building demand for sanitation: stories from the field
Excitement fills the air as the sales tem ventures into the bustling Rijo market, just a short distance from Igumale in Ado LGA. This market is a hub of activity in Benue state, drawing in traders and community members every three days. The team's mission: to promote hygienic SATO toilets and tackle the prevalent issue of open defecation.
Comprised of five community members from various Ado LGA communities, the sales team has been empowered by the LGA WASH unit under the MaS! partnership. Through training provided by Toilet Pride, a national WASH NGO working in collaboration with local government authorities, these agents have learned the art of marketing and creating consumer demand.
Open defecation is a big challenge in Ado LGA, like in most parts of Nigeria. Hence, the reason the Benue State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency in partnership with Toilet Pride, is working to increase access to quality and affordable toilets for poor households through market-based approaches.
One of the sales agents, Moses Idoko, is filled with enthusiasm as he tests his newfound marketing skills to boost toilet sales. Before becoming a sales agent, Moses served as a town crier, spreading awareness about the perils of open defecation to the residents of Igumale. Now, after receiving training from Toilet Pride, he not only raises awareness but also connects families to quality and affordable toilets through links to local sanitation enterprises.
“I like my new job, I not only make extra money, which takes care of me and my family, … I can now help more families in my village to get quality and affordable toilets.”
says Moses Idoko, sales agent on the LGA WASH team.
Since October 2022, Toilet Pride, alongside Benue State authorities, has been supporting sales agents like Moses and other local toilet business owners to boost consumer demand for sanitation products in Ado LGA. So far, Moses' sales team has successfully sold 187 SATO pans in Igumale and neighboring communities, bringing improved sanitation to 1,122 people and providing Moses with a rewarding livelihood.
Last updated 28 July 2023