Ferguson’s partnership with IWSH and DigDeep is part of its Ferguson Cares’ mission to ensure all Americans have access to a toilet, hot and cold running water and proper sanitation. More than 2 million Americans live without running water or indoor plumbing and even more without proper sanitation. Ferguson’s national partner DigDeep this week released a water access study stating:
“On the Navajo Nation in the Southwest, families drive for hours to haul barrels of water to meet their basic needs. In the Central Valley of California, residents ﬁll bottles at public taps, because their water at home is not safe to drink. In West Virginia, people drink from polluted streams. In Alabama, parents warn their children not to play outside because their yards are ﬂooded with sewage. In Puerto Rico, wastewater regularly ﬂoods the streets of low-income neighborhoods. Families living in Texas border towns worry because there is no running water to ﬁght ﬁres.”
This is the harsh reality for many Americans. Today Ferguson joined the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH), along with nonprofits and local, state and federal governments to declare a bold vision on World Toilet Day. We believe that every person, no matter where they live in the United States, needs access to safe sanitation. This year, Ferguson donated $25,000, along with $50,000 worth of product, to help Americans who lack access to safe, reliable sanitation.
“Ferguson has long understood that we cannot take water for granted,” explained 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. Access to safe, reliable water and sanitation does more for a community than just provide good health – it brings hope and dignity.”
Ferguson’s support, in addition to its annual $150,000 donation to DigDeep, includes:
- Two Community Plumbing Challenge projects within the Navajo Nation in the southwestern United States.
- A plumbing training program at the Navajo Technical University.
- The construction of restroom facilities in a Navajo community center next month.
The Navajo Nation, where approximately 40 percent of the population does not have access to water and sanitation, is an area particularly hit by this crisis.
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.
“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.”
The IWSH is the charitable arm of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) – a nearly 100-year-old trade association in the plumbing industry. Visit iwsh.org for more information about IWSH and its projects in the United States and globally. Celebrated November 19 every year, World Toilet Day’s goal is to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and help achieve a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, which promises sanitation for all by 2030. World Toilet Day was made an official U.N. day in 2013.