World Toilet Day - 60% of people don’t have access to clean, safe sanitation... but this SA brand is making a real positive difference!
Photo Cred: Polity

Access to safe and hygienic toilets is a right, not a privilege – Shining a spotlight on sanitation and toilet hygiene this World Toilet Day!


South Africa (19 November 2020) – Imagine being a child at school, desperate to use the toilet but too embarrassed to go because there is no door, and your classmates might walk past at just the wrong moment. The floor may be covered in faeces, and you’re worried about getting sick because of germs, or even worse, you’re afraid of falling into the pit toilet and drowning.

This is a harsh reality for children at thousands of South African schools where the only toilets available are dangerous and unhygienic pit latrines. When using these toilets, children are continuously exposed to germs making them ill and causing them to miss valuable school days, not to mention the emotional turmoil that comes with not having the due privacy to conduct your most intimate ablutions.

“When we found out that over 60% of people around the world don’t have access to clean, safe sanitation, we knew that we had to get involved with Domestos and talk about it openly. It’s important to tell the good news stories of brands that are making positive differences in South Africa,” – Good Things Guy.

Waking up to a safe, functional toilet at home and then being able to continue using one throughout the day at work and school, is an enormous privilege. Yet, it’s something so many of us take for granted.

“World Toilet Day is an opportunity for us all to put ourselves in the shoes of thousands of South Africa’s learners who have no access to safe and dignified toilets and to acknowledge that having clean, hygienic, flushing toilets is a privilege,” says Mandisa Mbenenge, Unilever PR Brand Specialist of Home Care, “This day it is an opportunity for us as citizens, parents, educators and professionals to find ways to bridge this massive divide by helping make safe sanitation at school a right.”

“Currently thousands of schools desperately need appropriate sanitation intervention, South Africa must unite to change this,” she continued, “The lack of appropriate sanitation facilities and hygiene education is a leading cause of infection keeping many children from attending and participating in school. Children miss classes waiting for toilets or leave school to find an alternative place to relieve themselves. Many girls stay home during their menstrual cycles, and the lack of proper sanitation is a breeding ground for many illnesses.”

Implementing basic toilet hygiene habits is also key to making sure that we protect ourselves from germs and viruses when using the toilet. This is relevant to everyone as the threat of a second wave of COVID-19 infections looms over South Africa; improving hygiene consciousness is more important than ever!

You can protect yourself and your family from germs, viruses and illnesses in the bathroom by adopting some of these toilet cleaning tips from Domestos:

To start mix water and 30ml of bleach in a bucket.

  • Use a cloth and the cleaning mixture to wipe down and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, taps, sinks and toilet flushing handles.
  • Check that your toilet bowl and seat is not broken and has no cracks where germs can breed
  • Wipe toilet surfaces with a different sponge or cloth from the one you use for the other surfaces
  • Pour toilet cleaner into the toilet and around the rim and allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes before scrubbing with the toilet brush and then flushing.
  • Soak your mop for at least 2 minutes in the cleaning mixture before you mop the floors
  • Use a handheld brush and your cleaning mixture to scrub bathroom tiles around the toilet.
  • Clean and rinse toilet brushes, mops, sponges, and cloths thoroughly.
  • Check that you always have soap and toiletries available.
  • It’s recommended to clean the bathroom and toilet daily to maintain optimal hygiene.

In response to the Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) Initiative, launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018, Domestos has been working to bring together partners from corporates, NGOs, government, and consumers to systematically eradicate pit latrines at schools.

Last year, Domestos thanks to the support of South African shoppers, Domestos was able to raise R500 000 through sales in a single day on World Toilet Day, which contributed to replacing pit toilets in several schools. This year Domestos is once again asking South African to help us by buying any Domestos bleach bottle between 19 November – 19 December, when R1 from every bottle sold will go towards safe sanitation in schools.

Sources: Domestos | World Health Organisation | World Toilet Day 
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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