Domestos promotes ‘Cleaner Toilets, Brighter Future’!
Helping to restore a basic right to health and hygiene for learners in South Africa!
Unilever South Africa’s Domestos brand has not only changed the lives and the future of thousands of children, but it has also assisted the government of South Africa in realising some of its service delivery objectives through the ‘Cleaner Toilets Brighter Future’ campaign.
Unilever has a global alliance with UNICEF that aims to improve sanitation in developing countries through UNICEF's Community Approaches to Total Sanitation (CATS) initiative - a behaviour change programme that promotes good hygiene practices, helps create demand for access to toilets, and raises awareness of the sanitation crisis.
Approximately 800 000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene. This equates to more than 2 000 children a day that are adversely affected by poor hygiene. Moreover, provision of adequate sanitation at schools is crucial to the development and well-being of children. In addition, the lack of infrastructure infringed on the child’s right to education compromises the chances of leading a quality and dignified life.
Realising the state of sanitation in South Africa, Unilever’s ‘Cleaner Toilets. Brighter Future’ project was launched to raise awareness of the importance of functioning and hygienic toilet facilities. Over the past five years, the brand has been involved in toilet refurbishment programmes in South Africa schools and promoting hygiene education through this campaign.
The initiative forms part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which has set a bold target to improve the health and wellbeing of more than a billion people by 2020 and is fully supported at the highest levels within the business.
Globally, Domestos has announced its target of helping 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020. In South Africa, the brand aims to improve sanitation in schools and provide better conditions for approximately 1.4 million learners by 2020.
In doing so, Domestos is contributing to the achievement of one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – Global Goal Number 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, which is set out to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
As part of the initiative, new toilets, sinks and taps were installed, walls were painted and doors were changed at 25 schools, benefiting 26 000 kids by making their toilets a cleaner, safer, germ-free environment. In addition, the brand has provided the schools with cleaning material and toilet paper supplies in an effort to restore a basic human right to learners and to stress the importance of adopting healthy hygiene habits. Disease and infections related to sanitation in those schools are now down by nearly 70%, and attendance has soared to over 80%.
In 2015, Domestos launched a hygiene awareness programme ‘Germ Buster Club’ in primary schools across the country. The programme aims to get learners to become brand ambassadors to their parents and spread the awareness on the importance of keeping toilets clean and hygienic at all times. The programme in its inaugural year reached over 113,000 learners in over 150 schools.
In addition, Unilever celebrates World Toilet Day on 19 November, an initiative introduced by key stakeholders to raise awareness and improve toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide. Through World Toilet Day, Domestos aims to promote Unilever’s vision to help build a brighter future for all South Africans to a wider audience.