18:35 | 24/06/2020 Companies
Washing your hands thoroughly with soap reduces the spread of disease and can help prevent COVID-19 infection. But for approximately 3 billion people around the world, this step is out of reach. According to UNICEF, 40% of the world’s population does not have access to basic handwashing facilities at home. In the world’s least developed economies, it is as high as 75% of the population. The COVID-19 situation is highlighting vast inequities in access to water, sanitation, and hygiene.
To help protect these communities, LIXIL Group Corporation (“LIXIL”), maker of pioneering water and housing products, announced the introduction of a new off-grid handwashing solution through its SATO brand. Called the SATO Tap, the new product is developed to be affordable and attractive evenfor low-income householdsand designed to allow useanywhere in the home, even without access to a supply of running water.
In light of the global spread of COVID-19, LIXIL’s goal is to provide a rapid response to the populations in need of improved hygiene, while also supporting longer-term solutions for handwashing behavior change. LIXIL will commit to a total of one million dollarsto support immediate and sustained hand-hygiene practices through thisinnovation.As part of accelerating product roll-out, it also plans to match the commitments of development partners and others, which could impact up to 5 million people with improved handwashing.
KinyaSeto, CEO of LIXIL, said, “LIXIL is a purpose-driven company that is committed to contributing to society through its business. COVID-19 has left many of the world’s most underservedcommunities exposed. Two out of five people in the world do not have even basic handwashing facilities in their homes at a time when they are needed the most. SATO Tap applies strong design and engineering expertise. Combined with LIXIL’s corporate backing,we will accelerate rollout and access to those who need this product most.”
The SATO Tap consists of a plastic base with a nozzle that can be fitted with widely available plastic bottles.The design is based on unique insights from consumers and stakeholders and analysis of existing solutions for the emerging markets. It is compact and can be used both within the homeand as a handwashing station at public facilities.
In addition to providing an affordable handwashing facility to disadvantaged households through the SATO Tap, LIXIL’s existing partnership with UNICEF will also expand activities in handwashing and sanitation. These activities range from collection of commercial and behavioral insights to strengthen behavior change, joint advocacy to promote hygiene programming and maximizing existing public and private sector networks and supply chains to expand access to handwashing.
Daigo Ishiyama, Chief Technology and Marketing Officer, SATO, said, “Handwashing with soap is one of the cheapest, most effective ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and other infectious diseases, yet for many people in the world it is still a privilege. We know many of these households don’t have running water but they do have access to a water source and to plastic bottles. Our solution had to be affordable and reliable, easyto produce and transport,effortless for children to use,as well as water-saving to minimize the frequency of the refill.”
To date, LIXIL’s SATO social business has developed affordable sanitation solutions including toilets and toilet system components. The SATO Tap is its first hand-hygiene solution, based on the same consumer-centric design principles of its sanitation solution, a key approach to ensure sustainability andcommercial viability.
The first SATO Taps will be manufactured in India, and will be available for partners in September 2020, with ramp up of production and retail availability through early 2021. LIXILis also working to establish other licensing partnersto expand to other markets including Africa.The launch of the SATO Tap is consistent with LIXIL’s ongoing work on SDG6 that contributes to improved sanitation and hygiene, having already reached over 18 million people in 38 countries with improved sanitation through SATO products.