Initial discusses the importance of Safe, Clean and Private Toilets and the role they play in Society

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World Toilet Day is celebrated on the 19th November. Initial discusses the importance of adequate sanitation for all.

world toilet day, toilet hygine
1 billion people do not have access to a toilet, and are forced to resort to open defecation. World Toilet Day aims to raise awareness around the urgent need for sanitation in those parts of the world where open defecation is still a reality.

Toilets. We use them every day at home, school and at work, yet very seldom talk about them. Similarly, it’s unlikely that much thought is given to those people that don’t have access to a toilet. On the 19th of November, Initial, the experts in Hygiene, would like to encourage readers to spare a thought for the staggering 1 billion people worldwide who do not have access to a toilet, and are thus forced to resort to open defecation. That’s 15% of the world’s population.

27 countries in the world still have more than a quarter of their population practicing open defecation, and the 2015 Millennium Development Goal target to halve the proportion of people living without sanitation is currently running 150 years behind schedule. That is a clear indication of a global crisis in sanitation, yet it’s a topic that goes largely un-talked about. World Toilet Day, on the 19th November, aims to raise awareness around the urgent need for sanitation in those parts of the world where open defecation is still a reality.

Open defecation is problematic for a number of reasons, not least of those is health. It is one of the main causes of diarrhoea and other deadly diseases such as cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, polio and worms. The World Toilet Organisation (“Why Toilets?", 2014) estimates that in 2013 approximately a thousand children died every day from diarrheal-related illnesses which are largely preventable with adequate sanitation. That’s one child every minute and a half. Shockingly, this is more deaths every year than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. There is also growing evidence linking open defecation to an increase in malnutrition and stunted growth.

The search for a place to defecate can be fraught with danger, especially for women and girls. Clean and safe toilets help keep more girls in school and increase attendance rates, as many girls stop attending school when they start to menstruate due to the lack of adequate toilet facilities. Clean and safe toilets are thus prerequisites for health, dignity, privacy and education.

For more information on World Toilet Day, visit and

About Initial Hygiene Services: Initial Hygiene is one of the leading hygiene solutions companies in South Africa. Initial provides innovative and environmentally responsible bathroom hygiene services solutions including soap and sanitisers to large and small organisations across a range of business sectors. For more information regarding Initial’s hygiene services, or to arrange for a free hygiene survey of your business, contact Initial on 0800 77 77 88. For statistics about toilet hygiene, please visit Initial's website.

Enquiries can be directed to:
Nathalie Leblond: nathalie(dot)leblond(at)rentokil-initial(dot)com
T: +27 (0)21 670 4704

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Nicole Maritz
Rentokil Initial
+27 10 248 1470 Ext: 1470
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Nathalie Leblond
Rentokil Initial
+27 (0)21 670 4700 4704
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