4 min read

Figures show more people in the world have access to a mobile phone than a toilet

  • 1 in 3 people worldwide don’t have access to a toilet
  • Each year, nearly 1 million people are killed by water, sanitation, and hygiene-related disease
  • Women who defecate in the open are twice as likely to experience sexual violence

Harpic have launched its ‘More than a toilet’ campaign to support Water.org in its effort to end the water and sanitation crisis around the world. They will be raising awareness and funds to support the international non-profit co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White in time for World Toilet Day on Monday 19 November 2018. In addition, their parent company, RB, has donated $1 million to Water.org’s efforts to change lives.

The campaign aims to bring to light the exceedingly high number of people in India and other developing countries living without access to basic sanitation and highlight the alarming effect this has on people’s health, safety and education.

The ‘More than a toilet’ campaign was announced 18 October at One Young World: a summit that discusses and shares innovative solutions for the pressing issues the world faces, attended previously by Meghan Markle, Emma Watson, Bob Geldof and Cher.

To launch, Harpic announced that the toilets at the summit will not be available to use, before premiering their campaign film (available to view here: https://bit.ly/2RTtaRp).

The stunt seeks to bring attention to the reality billions of people face and create a moment in which attendees realize that something we do every day looks very different for many people around the world.

Figures by the World Health Organization, UNICEF and International Telecommunications Union reveal that there are more people in the world with access to a mobile phone than a toilet. 1 in 3, that’s 2.3 billion people, do not have access to a toilet, with a staggering 892 million people defecating in the open; putting their health and safety at risk.

For billions of people, not having access to a toilet can be incredibly dangerous and comes with many risks, with nearly 1 million people being killed by water, sanitation, and hygiene-related diseases each year.    

Mong, a mother in Cambodia, describes life before Water.org enabled her family to install a toilet at home: “Our daughters were always at risk of unwanted attacks at night, and my kids could get bit by snakes when they walked to find water or defecate. It scared them, and me.”

Women living without access to a toilet are twice as likely to experience sexual violence when defecating in the open, and along with their children, can spend hours each day finding a place to go. Time that could be spent at school and work.

Harpic, the leading toilet cleaner in India, are campaigning to end the water and sanitation crisis by encouraging the public to join the movement, contribute and donate at https://water.org/morethanatoilet/ to fund a toilet and change a life. 

Global Category Director at Harpic; Alice Moore says “We are very grateful to be working towards Water.org’s efforts to end the water and sanitation crisis around the world. It is exceptionally shocking to see just how many people around the world are still living without access to basic sanitation and the worrying effect this has on their health, safety and education. We are so passionate about our ‘More than a toilet’ campaign and the positive contribution we at Harpic can make through raising awareness and fundraising, alongside RB’s $1 million donation.”

About Water.org

Water.org is an international non-profit organization that has positively transformed millions of lives around the world through access to safe water and sanitation. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers market-driven financial solutions to the global water crisis. For more than 25 years, they've been providing families with hope, health and the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty. Learn more at https://water.org

The Water Crisis: https://water.org/our-impact/water-crisis/

Download Water.Org's key water and sanitation crisis facts here.