Creating jobs in the Pacific with Sanitation Marketing this World Toilet Day

Live and Learn | Michelle Abel from Live and Learn, on 16/11/2016 14:21 AEST

This World Toilet Day, sanitation enterprises and schools in PNG, Solomon Islands, Fiji, and Vanuatu will be holding a number of events to celebrate the day, with support from Live & Learn. The theme for World Toilet Day this year, “Toilets and Jobs” highlights the importance of toilets in ensuring a healthy and productive workforce, and in particular the full involvement of women and girls. For Live & Learn, this includes improving sanitation and hygiene in communities as well as schools, where these barriers often reduce educational outcomes. Furthermore, we are supporting informal communities to create jobs and benefit from the economic potential of selling toilets and related products and services.

In Kimbe, PNG, health impacts due to poor sanitation and hygiene has been identified as an important barrier to the increased productivity, and therefore incomes, of oil-plantation workers in the major industry of West New Britain Province. This is a key driver for potential customers, as well as the palm-oil company and community leaders, to look to the sanitation enterprises being established to addressed these challenges.

Live & Learn Fiji will be celebrating World Toilet Day by supporting the Community Based Sanitation Market (CBSM), an enterprise based in informal settlements around Suva, to improve their sales and marketing abilities and therefore support job opportunities selling toilets and hygiene products. This week has been busy with 3 concurrent training workshops, culminating in a Market Day event where we have invited members of the Fiji Informal Settlement WASH Forum, representing community leaders and other stakeholders involved in informal communities in Fiji. This event will serve to market both the products and services of the current CBSM, but also demonstrate the potential of the sanitation marketing approach.

Similarly, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and PNG offices are planning similar events as an opportunity to build on the momentum they are creating. A number of schools will also celebrate the day. Stay tuned for updates on how some of these went after the event.

This follows similar events such as the “New Ireland Province WASH Field Day”, which successfully promoted the Kulangit Community Sanitation Enterprise in Kavieng, PNG, and resulted in a number of sales for the business. See: https://thewashbusiness.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/wash-a-priority-for-new-ireland-forum/.