Gugulethu Maseko and Boitumelo Kgame (grd 5) have a laugh in their newly renovated toilet block. Picture Thys Dullaart

The United Nation estimates that about 2.4 billion people lack access to proper sanitation facilities globally.

These are scary statistics considering the fact that sanitation or lack of it can negatively impact the livelihood of people.



World Toilet Day which is celebrated every year on November 19 seeks to raise awareness about the global sanitation crisis which is often neglected.

This country has about 24000 public schools and more than 8000 of them don’t have proper sanitation.

Domestos is pissed off about this and they are doing something about it. Under the hash tag #WeArePissedOff, local celebrities and influential people are taking the front line in the fight against the sanitation crisis in this country.

“Through this campaign, we are showing that we can be pissed off about something but do something positive about it,” said Cynthia Luthuli, brand manager at Domestos.

This fight against lack of sanitation is not limited to hash tags but the initiators are going an extra mile to make a difference.

As a prelude to World Toilet Day, Domestos and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) handed over revamped toilets at Isu’lihle Senior Primary School in Zola.

This means that 1096 learners will from now on have access to proper sanitation facilities thus making their learning environment safe from germs and other illnesses.

Luthuli said, “The donation forms part of our programme which has been running since 2010 targeting underprivileged schools and we have reached 27 of them thus far.”

Under the programme, Domestos does not just donate toilets but education on how to use them is emphasised as well.

“The problem is that learners don’t know how to use the infrastructure. As part of this programme, we also teach them how to use their toilets properly so that they can sustain them,” said Luthuli.

UNICEF reports that learners in lose many school days every year due to illnesses such as diarrhoea and hookworm which can also lead to IQ loss.

This problem is most prevalent in third world countries. A joint effort between government, the private sector and other organisations is needed in order for this problem to be solved.

“Domestos recognises that government cannot do it alone. We are asking for public participation through this campaign.

“Everyone who will participate online by sharing the video or content from this campaign with the hash tags #WeArePissedOff and #WorldToiletDay will be assisting Domestos in the provision of improved sanitation in public schools,” said Luthuli.

This call was supported by radio and TV personality Phat Joe who said, “These learners, who will one day be leading our nation have been left exposed to unhygienic conditions for too long.

“It is time we all get involved and show them that we are committed to seeing their development into the leaders we know they can become.”

Also read: #AddHope on a hunger busting mission

Mzwandile Khathi

Latest News