Domestos rolls out its Toilet Academies

Domestos has brought its innovative Toilet Academy programme to India as part of its mission to provide a clean and safe toilet for all and bring Unilever closer to its goal of helping 1 billion people improve their health and well-being by 2020.

New centres in India

man building a toilet

The Toilet Academy programme trains local entrepreneurs so that they can establish self-sustaining businesses to supply, install and maintain hygienic toilets, provide toilet cleaners and educate local communities on the importance of sanitation.

By the end of 2013, two Domestos (Domex in India) Toilet Academies had been launched near Bhubaneswar, Orissa and in Wardha near Nagpur, Maharashtra in conjunction with the World Toilet Organization and social enterprise eKutir.

Two other academies are currently being launched in the same states. Together, they will employ 120 entrepreneurs and produce 24,000 toilets by early 2015.

India faces sanitation challenge

Today around 638 million people defecate in the open in India. This accounts for over 50% of the country’s population and 60% of the people globally defecating in public, according to the WHO and UNICEF’s Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation.

Dr Analia Mendez, Director of Expertise & Authority, Household Care at Unilever, says: says, “In India, sanitation coverage stands at 35% among the rural population. This needs to rise to 53% by 2015 in order to meet the Millennium Development Goal target, which will be a big challenge in terms of investment, creation of facilities and related hygiene practices. At the current rate of progress, India will achieve the MDG on sanitation in 2054.”

Improving sanitation around the world

The Domestos Toilet Academies are part of a wider sanitation programme led by the Domestos Expertise & Authority team to help some of the 2.5 billion people around the world who do not have access to clean toilet facilities. Around 700,000 children die each year from diarrhoea caused by poor sanitation and water.

The first two academies launched as pilot programmes in Vietnam in 2011 at a time when only 52% of the rural population had some sort of sanitation facilities and only 18% had access to latrines that meet the standards set by its Ministry of Health.

Dr Mendez adds: “The Toilet Academies programme is a market-based solution to sanitation that provides jobs, improves health and well-being and in the long term helps to stimulate the local economy. Once established, it becomes a self-sustaining model with minimal further investment required from the funders.

“For every toilet built through the programme, five people will gain access to improved sanitation. As it expands internationally, it will significantly contribute to Unilever’s ambition to help 1 billion people take action to improve their health and well-being. ”

Read more about the toilet academy programme.

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