Japan may be famous for high-tech toilets, but one local firm is hoping a much more basic model can help solve deadly sanitation problems in developing countries.

More than two billion people around the world do not have access to basic sanitation facilities, and children are especially susceptible to diseases that can spread without hygienic toilets.

Household products firm Lixil has developed a latrine that sells for just a few dollars and features a self-sealing trapdoor to keep out disease-spreading insects, and seal in unpleasant odours.

Now it is forming an unusual partnership with the U.N.’s children’s agency UNICEF, which will help promote the company’s SATO toilet in the hope of saving lives in developing countries.

Andres Franco, UNICEF’s deputy director for private sector engagement, said the partnership would capitalise on Lixil’s “business, their technology, their knowledge, their innovation.”

Under the partnership, UNICEF will promote the SATO toilets in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania, Lixil president Kinya Seto said, with the aim of helping 250 million people gain access to an adequate toilet by 2021.

About 2.3 billion people worldwide do not have access to basic sanitation facilities, including 892 million people who have no choice but to defecate in the open, according to UNICEF.

“This takes away people’s dignity, it renders them vulnerable to life-threatening diseases,” UNICEF deputy executive director Shanelle Hall said.

“In fact, each and every day, dirty water, poor sanitation and poor hygiene results in the death of around 800 children under the age of five.

“That translates into two children every minute.”

Lixil has already sold around 1.8 million SATO toilets in 15 countries since releasing the product in 2013.

But Seto said it hoped to expand further and capitalise on UNICEF, “which has credibility and a network around the globe that we don’t have,… to give children access to toilets.”

Enjoy our free content ? Try our Legend services.

  • Star Level
  • Access to Grendz and the right to READ and SHARE our science techie green pins
  • The right to WRITE and SHARE your OWN science techie green pins
  • WEEKLY mind-blowing e-report with trends and news, never miss what is grendzing.
  • Customization Capability on which trends categories you want us to follow closer.
  • Our iOS or Android app for free
  • First to know about new trends and news
  • Weekly social media promotions (through Grendz social media presence) of your own pins (tech, science, green related) that may include: Your own service, products, PR or/and business related
  • No ads and no sales pitch
  • 24h Support (via e-mail)
  • Cancel anytime your renewal
FREE
The Plain Vanilla Level
$0
LEGEND
The best way to get the most out of Grendz.
$12/Month
Give it a share: