Tackling the global sanitation crisis

One in three people in the world still lacks access to safe sanitation. These people in countless communities, who rely on open pit latrines or empty fields to relieve themselves, are exposed to infectious diseases, insects, and terrible odors every day.

Lack of toilets in many areas leads a staggering 892 million people worldwide to relieve themselves outside (also known as “open defecation”). This contaminates water sources and exposes women and children to the risk of violence and harassment.

Every day, an estimated 800 children under 5 years of age die from diarrheal diseases because of these preventable causes.

SATO aims to solve these problems by providing affordable and easy-to-install toilet systems to local communities around the world. These products are safe for children and eliminate many of the causes of preventable diseases.

The ground-breaking product line has won a number of prestigious awards, including the Red Dot Design Award, the Good Design Award, and the Deputy-Chief’s Award from the Japan SDG Awards.

  • Reddot Award
  • Good Design Award 2015
  • Global SDG Awards
SATO Stories

SATO Stories

Discover real stories of lives changed by SATO, peek behind the scenes of the design process, and more.

A safe and affordable global sanitation solution

LIXIL developed the first product in the SATO series—the blue plastic toilet pan placed directly over a single pit—with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The toilet pan was launched in Bangladesh in 2013.

SATO toilet pans feature an automatically-closing trap door that blocks odors and insects. A small amount of water (0.2 to 1 liter) opens the trap door to eliminate waste, which shuts itself tightly after use.

In 2017, a model called the SATO V-trap Connection System was developed for the Indian market. Each SATO product is designed to meet the unique needs of the local market it serves.

Products manufactured locally

SATO is a self-sustaining social business that establishes a local Make, Sell, Use cycle in the community—creating jobs and allowing local manufacturers and stakeholders to continue the business independently. This allows a country to continuously improve its own sanitation over time.

SATO products around the world

Global map with SATO business countries

Countries reached


People using

Today, more than 1.8 million toilet pans are in use in countries around the world, effectively improving sanitation for more than 9 million people*.

SATO products have been shipped to over 26 countries, including Bangladesh, India, Kenya, and Uganda.

*Based on units provided. An average of 5 people benefits from one unit.