The founding thought for the German Toilet Organization (GTO) was sparked in 2004, during reconstruction work after the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia: It became apparent that most organisations lacked the necessary expertise to successfully implement sustainable sanitation – and many neglected the issue altogether. GTO was created on 31 October 2005, as a body, which puts sanitation in the spotlight and helps others to improve their work in this field.
All people have access to a sustainable and safe sanitation and water supply in accordance with human rights and independently practice basic principles of hygiene.
Scope of Work
As a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation, GTO is active in the fields of development cooperation, humanitarian assistance, as well as health and environmental protection.
Mode of Operandi
GTO is a thematic organisation. Although it was initially started to tackle the international sanitation crisis, GTO is committed to empowering and helping all persons affected by inadequate sanitation, water supply and hygiene, regardless of whether they live abroad or in Germany. This means that GTO is able to transfer domestic sanitation experience to international settings and vice versa – unlike any other organisation.
The challenges of the global sanitation crisis are complex and overwhelming; solving them requires well-coordinated efforts from all stakeholders. GTO is active in a wide range of networks and cooperates with a large number of public and government institutions, companies and other organisations. In doing so, GTO usually acts as a mediator and multiplier. By strengthening the issue and helping other actors make an improved contribution to sustainable sanitation, water supply and hygiene, GTO achieves the greatest possible positive impact with a very efficient use of resources.
Areas of Activity
GTO uses its numerous contacts, methodological competencies and extensive expertise in campaigns, child and youth education, adult education, policy work and technical support to improve sanitation, water supply and hygiene – thereby protecting human dignity, health and the environment.
GTO disseminates its comprehensive expertise on sanitation and hygiene. It gathers, prepares and disseminates expertise in a targeted and needs-based manner, for example in training courses for employees of other organisations.
Visit the Capacity Development section
GTO breaks the toilet taboo and strengthens political will. Through campaigns, events and networking, the GTO supports decision-makers and politicians in creating the necessary structural conditions for "sanitation for all" to become a reality.
Visit the policy section
GTO is committed to safe, clean and hygienic school toilets. Competition formats, teaching materials and development education concepts mobilise students and adults in their communities to improve sanitation in schools.
Visit the school section
Dr. Reinhard Marth
- Board Member
- Technical Adviser