844 million people in the world – one in nine – do not have clean water close to home.

2.3 billion people in the world – almost one in three – do not have a decent toilet of their own.

289,000 children under 5 die each year due to diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That’s 800 a day, or 1 child every 2 minutes.

2.3 billion people – one in three – don’t have access to a decent toilet. Many are forced to go in the open, spreading deadly diseases.

Why is this happening?

What would life be like without a toilet? Billions of people know only too well.

A toilet is something everyone should take for granted – at home, school, work and in public places. It is a basic human right that protects people from dangerous diseases.

Governments have neglected sanitation for too long, resulting in a severe lack of skills, resources and systems to ensure everyone has access to a toilet that effectively disposes of human waste.

Women going to the toilet outside face harassment and even attack, and girls drop out of school unable to manage their periods privately. Any chance of an education and a better future is all but lost.

Find out how we tackle these issues in Our approach.

A man looks at the camera with a field in the background.

How it affects people

A woman giving her children water to drink

Gertrude Chiimbwe, Zambia

Gertrude Chiimbwe giving her son, Hakalima, 3, a drink of water.

“We don’t have a toilet here, so we go to the bush. I feel bad when I have to go there. I always worry that someone will pass and see you going to the toilet. I’m also worried that you might step on the faeces and bring diseases home.”

A woman holding her child in her arms

Patuma Mbande, Malawi

Patuma Mbande, with her daughter Acklatu, outside her latrine.

"Sometimes in my toilet people have deposited faeces on the floor and not in the hole. This happens especially at night. I feel if I had a better toilet it would make life better, we would be healthier. I would be able to sweep and mop it properly. If it had a roof then the flies wouldn't be able to go in and out and land on our food."

A woman outsite a public latrine

Raju Begum, Bangladesh

Raju Begum, standing by an unhygienic makeshift latrine.

"Using this latrine is terrible – it’s a bad experience every time. There’s a really bad smell and everyone has caught diseases from it. It’s affected my family. When the new latrines come the old one will be destroyed. It will reduce diseases and hygiene will be good. Security will also be better. I will feel safer because there won’t be men walking past, like there are now. We want the new latrines everywhere.”