PISCATAWAY, N.J. – A new partnership between American Standard Brands and WaterAid seeks to save lives and improve access to safe sanitation in Bangladesh. Through their joint effort, hundreds of thousands of people in this developing country will receive a cost effective, sanitary toilet pan to help prevent the spread of disease and improve their standard of living.
"Our partnership with WaterAid plays a crucial role in raising the standard of safe sanitation in Bangladesh. We will be donating hundreds of thousands of our SaTo sanitary toilet pans to residents and institutions in Bangladesh, one for every Champion toilet sold here in North America," said Jay Gould, president and CEO of American Standard Brands. "WaterAid has been a tremendous partner in helping bring this simple yet effective toilet to underserved communities in Bangladesh. All of us at American Standard Brands are grateful for their help and expertise."
In parts of the world like Bangladesh, where fresh water is scarce and sewer infrastructure does not exist, open pit latrines allow disease to spread through direct and indirect contact with human waste. Globally, the lack of access to safe toilet facilities causes 2,000 deaths each day, mainly among children.
The SaTo (pronounced SAH-toh, derived from “Safe Toilet”) uses ingeniously simple mechanical and water seals that reduce the transmission of disease by closing off pit latrines from the open air. After eight months of development at the company's New Product Design Center in Piscataway, N.J., successful field testing on the SaTo was completed in Bangladesh in early 2013. Users especially appreciated how the small amount of water retained after each use created an airtight seal that reduced odors, as well.
“Access to water and toilet facilities is solvable, but we can’t do it alone”, said WaterAid America CEO David Winder. “That’s why WaterAid seeks to accelerate progress through innovative corporate partnerships in the fight against water poverty. Companies are an essential part of the solution, and they are helping us to get better at what we do.”
To help spread awareness of the global sanitation crisis, American Standard has launched its "Flush for Good" campaign. This effort educates consumers about the health crisis resulting from the use of open latrine pits in developing countries, and how they can help remedy this practice. The program encourages consumers to "Buy a Champion, Be a Champion", with one SaTo sanitary toilet pan donated for every Champion toilet purchased in North America during 2013. Plus, for every 100 likes or shares on the company's "Flush for Good" Facebook page, one SaTo will also be donated.
Further enhancing the company's efforts to spread the Flush for Good message, American Standard Vice President of Research, Development & Engineering, Jim McHale, recently presented the SaTo sanitary toilet pan at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C., as part of a conference on global sanitation issues. McHale will also travel to San Diego, Calif. to speak at the Sustainable Brands Conference, an event that strives to educate and inspire professionals from around the world about building more sustainable brands and increasing the market for them.
WaterAid’s work in Bangladesh dates back to 1986, and includes a focus on empowering the poorest and most marginalized communities through Community-Led Total Sanitation, to help them determine their own sanitation solutions. To date, WaterAid has helped improve sanitation for 7.7 million people in Bangladesh.
To learn more about the Flush For Good Campaign and the work American Standard is doing to raise the standard of global sanitation in Bangladesh, visit www.flushforgood.com.