Thursday, 24 March 2011

Wash United and Viva con Agua walk for water in Berlin, Germany

Hundreds of Berliners marched in solidarity with the millions of people in developing countries who have to walk each and every day just to find water for their basic human needs. A quick update from the German Walkers here:

Participants with vessels filled with water walked through the city of Berlin from their starting point at Oberbaumbr├╝cke to the end point at the front of the Rotes Rathhaus in the city centre.

In Germany, almost 100 per cent of the population have access to piped household connections - meaning that most participants experienced the hardship of having to walk for water for the first time in their lives.

WASH United & Viva con Agua
Participants were walking for water for the first time. Photo credit: Wash United & Viva con Agua

Members of Parliament from the ruling parties CDU/ CSU and FDP, as well as from the Green Party joined the walk to highlight the importance of safe drinking water and sanitation for all and to underline Germany’s commitment to ending the current crisis. It is crucial that donor governments, like Germany, realise the importance of water and sanitation in developing countries so that they target their aid money well.

WASH United & Viva con Agua
The walk ended at the Rotes Rathhaus in Berlin city centre.
Photo credit: Wash United & Viva con Agua

During last year’s World Water Day, Germany’s Foreign and Development ministers announced their dedication to the right to water and sanitation by promising enough German support so that 30 million people in sub-Saharan Africa will gain access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015.

"The German government is investing significant resources to promote access to safe drinking water and sanitation in developing countries. However, a significant percentage of German ODA is still going to middle-income countries rather than to the world’s poorest nations. We need the German government to better target the poorest of the poor if we want to make this preventable crisis history”, stressed Thorsten Kiefer, International Coordinator of WASH United.

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