In parts of Latin America, many people are struggling with a water and sanitation crisis. In Bolivia, for example, more than 70 percent of people in rural areas lack access to basic sanitation, and more than 20 percent of people do not have access to clean drinking water. In Peru, about 40 percent of rural people do not have basic sanitation, and approximately 30 percent do not have access to safe water.
At Kimberly-Clark we believe that access to sanitation is an essential for a better life. In response, we began rolling out the Toilets Change Lives program in Latin America, in partnership with Water for People, to improve and expand access to sanitation, and to help fund community education programs on water, sanitation, and hygiene. The program initially launched in Bolivia in 2015, followed by Peru in 2016, and since last year (2017) it has expanded to benefit Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
Together with Water for People, as well as local governments and schools, we launched the campaign “Más higiene para todos” (More hygiene for everyone) to help people understand that hygiene is not a privilege, it’s something everyone deserves.
“Water and sanitation are essential for everyone, and through our efforts to expand Toilets Changes Lives we are making that promise a reality,” said Sergio Cruz, President of Latin American Operations at Kimberly-Clark. “Every community we touch means women and children are safe to use the toilet, girls are staying in school, the risk of diseases spreading from lack of basic sanitation are reduced, and communities are healthier. The impact we can make together is what inspires me to continue advocating for solutions and partnerships that put an end to the water and sanitation crisis.”
Since the 2015 pilot in Bolivia, the program in Latin America has helped more than 37,000 people in need with improved and expanded water and sanitation facilities. In addition, the program has helped drive behavior change in dozens of communities and schools through educational programs on water, sanitation, and hygiene.
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