Artists give toilets a spray for World Toilet Day

News

19 Nov 2014 | AU

More than 20 Sydney artists have decorated the porcelain to mark the UN sanctioned World Toilet Day in a bid to raise awareness for the 2.5 billion people currently living without access to a toilet.

Located in front of Customs House at Circular Quay, the three-day art installation is a joint initiative between, Engineers Without Borders – Charity partner of City of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve celebrations - and WaterAid Australia.

Lizzie Brown CEO of Engineers Without Borders said the idea behind the installation is to break down the loo taboo and shed light on a global issue impacting one in three people who don’t have access to a toilet.

“In western society, we keep our toilet talk behind closed doors. So what better way to get people talking about sanitation than brightly coloured toilets with harbour views.”

“Improved sanitation is something to celebrate and keep on the agenda – such a simple technology saves and improves lives immensely, particularly for the most vulnerable,” Ms Brown said.

WaterAid Australia Chief Executive Paul Nichols said despite the proven impacts that sanitation has on health and quality of life – more people have access to a mobile phone than a toilet.

“Living in Australia, it is easy to forget how privledged we are, being able to easily access a toilet whenever we need,” Mr Nichols said.

“In developing countries including some of our closest neigbours in the Pacific, open-air defecation is an everyday reality.”

“Without safe toilets, children die from diseases related to poor sanitation and unsafe water, women and girls are vulnerable to attack, and productivity is lost to sickness,” Mr Nichols said.

“Access to the basics of clean safe water, toilets, and hygiene is one of the most important steps in preventing diseases like Ebola that currently threaten the world. World Toilet Day is a timely reminder of what we here in Australia take for granted,” said Mr Nichols.

People can check out all 25 masterpieces outside Customs House at Circular Quay on World Toilet Day, November 19, and until November 21. People wishing to make a donation at the exhibit will be thanked with Who Gives a Crap, socially conscious toilet paper, which donates 50 per cent of profits to WaterAid.

City of Sydney, Kohler Toilets, Reverse Garbage and Who Gives a Crap have partnered with Engineers Without Borders and WaterAid Australia to make the event possible.

For more information contact:

Cameron Donovan, icon.pr 0408 662 007 cameron.donovan@iconpr.com.au

About Engineers Without Borders

Engineers Without Borders Australia is a member-based not-for-profit organization creating systemic change in Australia and South and South East Asia. EWB works in partnership to address a lack of access to basic human needs such as clean water, sanitation and hygiene, energy, shelter and education, with a focus on locally driven solutions. For more information or how to get involved, visit: www.ewb.org.au

About WaterAid

WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone everywhere has access to safe water and sanitation. The international organisation works in 26 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 21 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 18 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit: www.wateraid.org/au