LIXIL is the most comprehensive and connected global company in the housing and building industry, delivering human-centric innovation that enhances people's living spaces.
A special report published in August 2016 examining the economic cost of poor sanitation globally.
While considerable efforts have been made to provide improved sanitation, an estimated 2.4 billion people—one out of every three in the world today— still live without proper sanitation. One billion of those still defecate in the open, risking diarrheal disease and other dangers.
If we believe that access to a safe and clean toilet is about basic human dignity, the current situation is simply not acceptable. And we know that the lack of access to basic sanitation has significant implications for society and our economies.
In collaboration with Oxford Economics, and with the support of WaterAid, LIXIL has published a new research report revealing the hidden costs of poor sanitation. The report provides up-to-date estimations of the global cost of poor sanitation, building on pioneering work from the World Bank's Water and Sanitation Program (WSP). The research shows how poor sanitation has a substantial impact on the economy. Countries with poor access to sanitation are losing significant proportions of their GDP.
With such significant social and economic costs associated with poor sanitation, the argument for addressing this challenge cannot be ignored. More investment is needed, not just in terms of capital investment, but also in terms of a broader dialogue and discussion among governments, international organizations and the private sector about the need to prioritize this urgent issue. The time for concerted, coordinated action is now.
Message from WaterAid
The UN Global Goals on Sustainable Development are a promise to eradicate extreme poverty and create a fairer, more sustainable world by 2030. Among these is Goal 6, to reach everyone everywhere with safe water and sanitation, without leaving anyone behind. Looking at past progress rates, providing adequate and equitable sanitation for all looks like a daunting challenge. But we know it is achievable if sanitation is prioritised, adequately financed and innovative ways to reach the unserved are found.
The private sector has an important role to play. Global corporations like LIXIL can collaborate in platforms that advocate for the political prioritisation of sanitation. With the taxes they pay, they contribute to strengthening national revenue systems that can finance sanitation services. And they can use their strong expertise and innovative ethos to solve some of the obstacles to making access to sanitation universal.
Executive Director, WaterAid Japan