Monday, 22 March 2010

Gordon Brown caught short in the toilet queue...

Tom Baker
Tearfund
The London Queue has happened! Tom, working at Tearfund, an End Water Poverty member, helped to organise the event which had a very interesting political spin...

What a morning! Over 120 campaigners from across the End Water Poverty coalition joined us for the London leg of the World’s Longest Toilet Queue.

Representatives from the trade union UNISON queued alongside supporters of Action against Hunger, who stood in solidarity with student activists from Medsin, while members of RESULTS UK and the British Medical Association waited next to campaigners from Water Aid, Tearfund, UNICEF and Pump Aid.

But everyone was united with one message. That we need our politicians to act to end the scandal that means 2.6 billion people don’t have access to a decent toilet…

The queue formed outside the Houses of Parliament and must have made an impressive sight as politicians, journalist and officials made their way into work on a sunny Monday morning. We had lots of photographers down covering the event ( http://twitpic.com/1a7i1l ) so fingers crossed it’ll make it into the newspapers.

It was an appropriate setting when you consider that 150 years, it was in the same building that MPs had decided they needed to do something about the ‘Great Stink’ that was engulfing London, caused by the River Thames, being full s**t because the capital didn’t have any a proper sanitation system.

Then they acted, and in the following years a sewerage system was built, and the city saw a rapid decline in number of people dying from illnesses associated with poor sanitation. So much so that the BMA voted it the most important public health intervention ever.

Today as campaigners queued together outsider, we hope that Gordon Brown got the message that he needs to act now, not on behalf of constituents but on behalf of communities around the world.

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