Tackling poverty one toilet at a time

Sanitation is the single most cost-effective public health intervention to reduce child mortality.
(World Bank, 2006)

Every year, over 800,000 children under five die from some form of diarrhoea based disease; dirty hands, flies and contaminated earth make home a deadly place to be. Our ecosan toilets have transformed the lives of 350,000 people in India and Africa. Whole communities are healthier, adults can go to work, and children can stay in school. By earning more and spending less on medication, people are much better off. This all adds up to a brighter future full of opportunity for everyone.

Dignity & Respect

It’s not just about toilets; it’s about respect. Thanks to our supporters, we’re able to give more respect, dignity and hope to some of the poorest people in the world.

Why Toilets?

Health

2.4 billion people worldwide do not have a toilet; the consequences of this kills more children than Aids, Malaria, and Measles combined. Just one gram of human poo can contain 10,000,000 viruses, 1,000,000 bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts and 100 parasite eggs. This is a huge and constant risk to public health and the only solution is better sanitation.

Women

Women in India routinely risk their own safely because of the fact that they do not have access to safe sanitation. This is because women are often attacked while they are looking in rural areas for places to defecate; their vulnerability is heightened as they venture out alone when it is dark, in order to preserve their privacy and dignity.

Education

Imagine a school with no toilets. Valuable time is lost and unnecessary stress is created every time a child has to find somewhere to go to the toilet. One of the biggest factors causing girls to leave education 
is unsafe toilet practices. Once a toilet is introduced into a school, we see a 15% increase in girls’ attendance rate.

A global sanitation crisis

We currently live in a world where more people in India own a mobile phone than a toilet. This shocking lack of basic sanitation leads to the contraction of diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio, which are all carried by faecally contaminated water.

Too weak to attend work or school, many people are forced to buy expensive medicine, becoming trapped in an endless cycle of poverty. As well as being a public health issue, sanitation is also, undoubtedly, a major contributor to social injustice and poverty.

Ecosan

In our opinion ecosan is the ultimate eco-toilet. Why? Because of the unique way it works to safely convert the waste into a soil conditioning compost and fertiliser.

The nutrients found in an adult’s human waste contain the same amount of nutrients that are required to grow enough cereal to sustain that same adult.

It’s almost as if nature intended people to recycle their waste and create more food!

We believe that composting ecosan toilets are the ultimate in sustainability. By producing humanure, ecosan works with, and not against nature, benefitting people and the environment.

Sustainability

Western style flush toilets rely on a huge sewer infrastructure and a constant supply of water to function. The 2.4 billion people without toilets, however, can’t wait for these to be supplied. Ecosan toilets require minimal infrastructure. We expect our ecosan toilets to have a 30-year life span and when you calculate the cost per person per year, ecosan starts to look very attractive indeed.

Fertiliser Crisis

The earth is losing 25 billion tons of topsoil every year, which simply cannot be replaced with chemical fertilisers. The New Scientist has noted that: “All farmable soil could be gone in 60 years. Given soil grows 95 per cent of our food, and sustains human life, this is a huge problem. Many would argue soil degradation is the most critical environmental threat to humans”.

If all 774 million people in India waiting for household toilets stood in a line, the queue would stretch from Earth, to the Moon, and beyond.

Our Work

Sanitation First has a vision of everyone having access to a safe and hygienic toilet. Toilets are the stepping-stones towards a better future for people living in acute poverty, as basic sanitation is the linchpin that connects all other forms of development. Without improved sanitation, poverty will not be eradicated.

We will always employ the right system to best suit the needs of our users, and our work fits broadly into three categories: community, schools and family.

Sanitation First toilets in use in India

Toilet uses per day

Tonnes of compost produced since 2005

People using our toilets in India

Community

Since 2010, Sanitation First has been developing an innovative solution designed to function efficiently in the challenging environments of space-restricted slums; we call this our Inner-City Sanitation model (ICS), which has grown to 6,000 users.

Schools

Sanitation First has built 158 school ecosan blocks in primary, middle and senior schools, providing relief from fear and shame to over 155,000 children in India. Our ecosan toilets give these children a safe, clean and hygienic place to go to the toilet.

Family

Children often tell their family about their new school toilet, which motivates local communities to request toilets for their homes. We often find that school toilets are the catalyst for a whole village to achieve the dream of everyone using a toilet.

Sanitation First

Sanitation First has a vision of everyone having access to a safe and hygienic toilet

Limpley Mill
Bath
BA2 7FJ

info@sanitationfirst.org

- 13 hours ago

https://t.co/HGxpbZ4dYB World Toilet Day is an amazing opportunity to remind ourselves that talking about toilets… https://t.co/3VXfyqytyc
h J R

- 1 day ago

Toilet fact #4 is a really serious one and is something that is the reason for our ongoing work... 60.4% of people… https://t.co/kDiUkft4bu
h J R

- 1 day ago

What a fantastic, artistic way to raise awareness about sanitation... https://t.co/or2Vq7zNxs
h J R

- 1 day ago

RT @EmmaShoard: Here @trumanbrewery now, putting together 'Out of Order': an exhibition for #WorldToiletDay with @WaterAidUK. Working along…
h J R

- 1 day ago

RT @loowatt: #WorldToiletDay is this Sunday. "World Toilet Day is about inspiring action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Today, 4.…
h J R
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