Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Crisis Talks on World Toilet Day: six metre high toilet in the Netherlands!

Jessica Bekker works for Simavi in the Netherlands, a founding member of the End Water Poverty campaign. Here, she shares news of the Crisis Talk that took place on World Toilet Day in Amsterdam

On World Toilet Day, Saturday November 19 2011, Simavi organized a Crisis Talk on the Dam Square in the centre of Amsterdam. By putting a giant six-metre high toilet (the equivalent of 2 floors) on the Dam, the public health organization drew attention to the fact that 2.6 billion people still do not have access to a toilet, and launched a report about the Dutch chances for involvement in water and sanitation at international level. A spectacular singing act performed by “Toilet Ladies” added some more fun to the event!

During this event Simavi presented the report 'Roll up your sleeves' to the media. The report shows that, in 2014, the Dutch government invest only 63 million Euro into water, sanitation and hygiene compared to the 81 million Euro that will be invested during 2012. The Dutch Lower House are meeting to discuss this foreign development budget in the next week and this report urges them to invest more money in water and s
anitation. It emphasises the importance of the second Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting taking place in April 2012. This is where the Finance ministers from developing countries and the ministers of Development Cooperation from the donor countries meet to really get down to business. It is important that the Dutch government rolls up its sleeves and once more shows leadership to make this meeting successful.

'Roll up your sleeves' features Dr Catherine Mwango from ANEW and Doreen Wandera from UWASNET, both End Water Poverty member networks!

With this Crisis Talk, Simavi gave a powerful signal to politicians to show them they need to act in order to clean up the pressing shortage of toilets across the world.
Each day over 4,000 children under the age of five die due to preventable water-related illnesses. Clean toilets will prevent infectious diseases like cholera and diarrhoea from spreading any further

The huge toilet in Dam Square!

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