Sunday, September 19, 2010

The World Walks for Water

When I was a councillor I used to remind meetings that the great improvement in health over the past century or more was not down to heroic surgery or better drugs. It was down to local authorities using their public health powers to ensure there was a clean water supply.

According to a leaflet from The World Walks for Water:

884 million people don't have clean water to drink, cook or wash with - that's one in eight of the global population. 2.6 billion live without adequate sanitation. This lack of access has a staggering effect on the lives of the poor.

  • They have to walk on average 6km to collect water - and in most cases, it is unclean water.
  • They suffer long and back-breaking walks with their collected water - carrying around 20kg at a time.
  • Illness and time spent collecting water also means 443 million school days are lost every year.
The World Walks for Water wants to put pressure on world leaders in the spring of 2011 when there will be a series of high-level political meetings on water and sanitation in Africa and Asia.

This tactic has been used before. In 2007, 25,000 people walked 320km to Delhi to demand land reform - and reforms were forthcoming from the Indian government. And this year campaigners in Burkina Faso formed "the world's longest toilet queue".

Which brings us back to Harborough District Council.

There is nothing on the World Walks for Water so far beyond a request to give them your email address. So if you want facts and figures on water and sanitation go to WaterAid.

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