The Fact Maker

LIXIL and UNICEF expand ‘Make A Splash!’ partnership after reaching 2.9 million people with sanitation and hygiene solutions

Partnership expanding into India, Indonesia, and Nigeria

LIXIL, maker of pioneering water and housing products, and UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organization, today announced the expansion of the ‘Make a Splash!’ partnership. The expansion will reach children and families living in India, Indonesia, and Nigeria – three of the most populous countries – with access to safe, clean toilets and hygiene solutions.

Launched in 2018, the ‘Make a Splash!’ Partnership combines the two organizations’ complementary strengths to support progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6, achieving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation by 2030. The scale-up of the partnership builds its success of improving sanitation and hygiene over the past three years, reaching 2.9 million people in communities in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

The ‘Make a Splash!’ partnership aims to build viable sanitation and hygiene markets serving millions of people – by expanding the availability, affordability and quality of goods and services. In addition to the three new focus countries, the scope of activities of the partnership will also expand, focusing on:

  • Reaching people with better sanitation and hygiene options

Through UNICEF’s sanitation and hygiene demand generation activities, LIXIL’s design and supply of solutions based on user needs and preferences, and joint capacity building activities 

  • Leveraging financing for sanitation and hygiene actors

To support developing markets, including local suppliers and consumers

  • Supporting policies and regulation

Through monitoring and evaluation of national targets and strategies

“Far too many children and their families lack access to safe sanitation and hygiene. To close this gap and protect the health of children all over the world, we have to move faster,” said Carla Haddad Mardini, Director, Private Fundraising and Partnerships, UNICEF. “We need bold and innovative partnerships like Make a Splash! to accelerate this progress, using our shared vision and respective strengths to achieve sustainable solutions. I’m proud that we are building on our success and expanding this partnership to reach more people.” 

‘Make a Splash!’ is UNICEF’s first global shared-value partnership in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, and the first of its kind with a Japanese company. Together, the partners have promoted safe sanitation and hygiene with communities, while building competitive sanitation markets, through programs that help children and families stop open defecation and access affordable and appealing solutions. The joint efforts focus on market driven programs, advocacy efforts to draw attention to opportunities in the sanitation economy along with greater sanitation prioritization and investment. On-the-ground activities range from building supply chains, distribution networks, and enabling local entrepreneurs and masons to sell, install and service the products.

“LIXIL’s purpose is to make better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere. Through this partnership with UNICEF, we have witnessed our products and services support children and families accessing safer sanitation and hygiene,” said Jin Montesano, Director and Chair of LIXIL’s Corporate Responsibility Committee. “We are now excited to bring this innovative collaboration to many more people. We welcome partners to join us on the ground to drive our initiatives to make safe toilets and hand-washing accessible to all.”  

UNICEF works on the ground in more than 100 countries to provide safe sanitation for the world’s most underserved communities in rural and urban areas, and during emergencies, by mobilizing communities, building markets for sanitation goods and services, and partnering with governments to plan and finance sanitation services. Its efforts also extend to the supporting of sanitation technologies to make basic toilets accessible.

LIXIL applies its design and technology for water products to meet users in over 150 countries across the world, including the SATO brand, that provides aspirational and affordable toilet and hygiene products for communities and households that may not have direct water connections or use onsite sanitation systems. Spearheading the company’s Corporate Responsibility commitment in “Global Sanitation and Hygiene,” SATO is a social business that drives R&D and business operations tailored to the needs of emerging markets, including lack of infrastructure, lower income levels, and environmental restrictions, such as water scarcity.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, 30 per cent of the world’s population – or 1 in three people – did not have access to a handwashing facility with water and soap at home. The partnership rapidly expanded to meet this need. UNICEF shared insights of the emerging needs and trends and SATO combined this with its own market intelligence and built design prototypes. The result was LIXIL’s development of the SATO Tap™, a novel handwashing station that can be used anywhere, even without access to running water. The SATO Tap™ incorporated standard SATO features including simplicity and affordability. UNICEF provided feedback and contributed to the design process with its sector knowledge, expertise and information of existing handwashing solutions. 

Since the launch of the SATO Tap™ in June 2020, the partners have been promoting immediate and sustained hand-hygiene practices for the prevention of contagious diseases.