Australian Red Cross and leading bathroomware brand Caroma teamed up today in Sydney CBD’s Wynyard Park to celebrate the eve of World Toilet Day. This unusual event has been developed to highlight the plight of approximately 2.7 billion people worldwide who do not have access to basic sanitation.

With festivities sure to continue tomorrow, enthusiastic volunteers were lined up this morning (18 November 2011) on a row of very public red and white toilets. There was also a toilet photo booth where commuters could have their picture snapped and ‘flushing wells’ for donations to support water and sanitation projects. 

Australian Red Cross’ water and sanitation aid worker Paul Byleveld explains the necessity of the cause; “Unsafe water and poor sanitation have claimed more lives over the past century than any other cause, and wherever there is a lack of access to clean water and sanitation disease and economic hardship are sure to be close by.”

“The statistics are appalling; every day 4,000 children under the age of five die from diseases associated with unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene,” Byleveld adds.

Caroma recently donated over $200,000 to Red Cross water and sanitation projects in remote communities in the Asia-Pacific, such as East Timor, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The projects have helped improve community access to clean water and toilets, and targeted health and hygiene through education, and the establishment of infant and young child feeding groups. 

Caroma Marketing Manager, Deborah Evans, says: ‘The aim of the squad of toilets is to raise awareness about the plight of one quarter of the world’s population. We hope commuters who walk through Wynyard Park throw some spare change down the flushing well. Every cent and every dollar truly counts to help less fortunate communities.’

“Australians can make a real difference by supporting Red Cross and Caroma’s joint fundraising program, ‘I Love My Bathroom’ by donating to”