Today Ferguson joined the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH), governments, and NGOs in declaring a bold vision on World Toilet Day: Every person, no matter where they live in the in the United States, should have access to safe sanitation. This commitment is to help the 1.4 million Americans who lack access to safe, reliable sanitation and the hope, dignity and health that it brings.
Ferguson, the largest U.S. distributor of plumbing supplies, PVF, waterworks and fire and fabrication products, announced an additional $25,000 to IWSH for its efforts in the United States, which include two Community Plumbing Challenge projects within the Navajo Nation in the southwestern United States, a plumbing training program at the Navajo Technical University, and the construction of restroom facilities in a Navajo community center next month. Ferguson contributed supplies for these initiatives as well. The Navajo Nation, where approximately 40% of the population does not have access to water and sanitation, is an area particularly hit by this crisis.
“Ferguson has long understood that we cannot take water for granted,” said Denise Vaughn, the company’s Vice President of Communications and Sustainability. “We have worked with our contractors and offered the best product to deliver quality water. However, now is the time to do more. Ferguson is committed to ensuring every American has access to the basic human right of clean water and proper sanitation through our partnerships with IWSH and DigDeep. Access to safe, reliable water and sanitation does more for a community than just provide good health — it brings hope and dignity.”
Celebrated Nov. 19 every year, World Toilet Day’s goal is to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and help achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6, which promises sanitation for all by 2030.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 4.2 billion people worldwide lack access to safely managed sanitation, 673 million still practice open defecation and 3 billion lack basic handwashing facilities. This lack of access to safe sanitation is blamed for an estimated 432,000 diarrheal deaths every year.
The problem is widespread in the United States as well, where more than 2 million people lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation, according to a new report, produced by DigDeep and the US Water Alliance with advisory assistance from the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), titled “Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan.” An estimated 1.4 million Americans do not have access to indoor plumbing (hot and cold running water, a sink, a shower/bath or a flush toilet).
“A million-plus Americans lack access to basic toilets or plumbing in their homes,” said Dain Hansen, IAPMO Senior Vice President of Government Relations and IWSH Managing Director. “It is heart-wrenching to see the children, veterans and the elderly who do not benefit from the safety and dignity that sanitation in our homes provides — something so many of us take for granted. Today, IWSH and IAPMO are pleased to take a stand with Ferguson in bringing hope to disadvantaged families across the United States by installing toilets and basic plumbing in their homes.”
IWSH is the charitable arm of IAPMO, a nearly 100-year-old trade association in the plumbing industry. Visit www.iwsh.org for more information about IWSH and its projects worldwide.