4,000 children under the age of five die every single day just because they lack toilets and water, 884 million people don’t have clean water and 40% of the world’s population (2.5 billion people) don’t have a safe toilet. This is a global crisis, and one that doesn’t get much play from the media or the politicians. But you can help by joining the World’s Longest Toilet Queue.
The World’s Longest Toilet Queue (that’s ‘line’ for those of you who don’t speak British english) is trying to get people to band together to force governments around the world to act on these issues. The Queue is also an official attempt at a Guinness World Record for a Queue in multiple locations across the world during the same time period (20-22 March 2010) – on World Water Day.
The world’s first high-level Meeting on Sanitation and Water is being held in Washington DC on 22 April 2010 – arguably the biggest real political opportunity in years for worldwide action on sanitation and water. One month before that is World Water Day, which can have a very positive effect on the outcome of the Sanitation and Water meeting if we can all stand up for what should be a basic human right: access to safe water and sanitation.
Here’s a couple of sobering facts about sanitation and water:
- 4000 children under the age of five dying every day from preventable water related illnesses such as diarrhoea, typhoid, cholera and dysentery – that’s more than the combined toll of HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria.
- Over half of hospital beds in developing countries are taken by those suffering with diarrhoeal illnesses.
- According to the UN, half of the girls who stop attending primary school in Africa do so because of lack of safe and private toilets.
What we need to do is to convince governments to not only acknowledge the issue, but to commit to taking action. Join us on World Water Day by standing together in the World’s Longest Toilet Queue. I’ve signed up. Have you?
The WLTQ event is co-organized by End Water Poverty, the Freshwater Action Network and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council.