Dig Toilets Not Graves

Barry with WaterAid tattoo at Glastonbury

Today is Blog Action Day 2010, and the subject which was chosen by popular vote, is water.

I’d like to talk about WaterAid, a charity that I first heard of through the Glastonbury Festival, where they are one of the three ‘Worthy causes’ alongside Oxfam and Greenpeace (hence the accompanying picture of me in silly hat from this year’s festival). You can read more about WaterAid at Glastonbury here.

What’s the problem?

Nearly a billion people around the world have no access to safe drinking water.

4500 children die every day because they lack safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Many children, particularly girls, get little or no education because they are often expected to collect water for the family.

Ensuring that everyone has access to safe water and sanitation is the first step to eliminating global poverty and social exclusion.

What does WaterAid do?

WaterAid works with partners around the world to provide practical solutions to provide safe water and effective sanitation to the poorest people around the world.

They also provide hygiene education and follow a community led approach that ensures that they work with the people they are helping, to provide sustainable solutions that belong to the community.

They publish research and policy guidance as well as developing standards of governance and accountability.

The Dig Toilets Not Graves Campaign

Have you ever been caught out, away from home and needed the loo? The chances are you have, but that you very quickly found a toilet somewhere nearby. In fact, there are so many toilets in the UK that you can even load up a free iPhone app from WaterAid that will locate your nearest public toilet.

Contrast this with the 1,500,000 children who die each year through lack of sanitation. In areas without toilets, human faeces contaminates water and food and leads to the spread of deadly diseases.

The tools and education provided by the The Dig Toilets Not Graves campaign can help to stop this situation. You can find out more here.

How can you help?

There are many ways that you help WaterAid to achieve their goals.

  • Look for them at events from Glastonbury to the Great North Run
  • Take part in their campaigns and offer your support as they lobby decision makers across the world
  • Get involved as a volunteer, organising events or fundraising
  • Or simply make a donation

If you’re a large organisation, please think about the opportunities for corporate sponsorship and partnering.

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