In the run up to World Toilet Day, 19 November 2011, campaigners across the UK have been engaging in Crisis Talks with MPs about the water and sanitation crisis which is killing 4,000 children under the age of 5 every day.
WaterAid supporters have been meeting their MPs to talk about the fundamental role water and sanitation provision plays in development. And they have been emphasising the importance of the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting (HLM), an international meeting to be held in Washington DC on April 20th 2012 when world leaders from the Global North and South will meet to act upon the water and sanitation crisis.
WaterAid supporters have spoken with Cambridge MP Julian Huppert, Edinburgh East MP Sheila Gilmore and Wirral South MP Alison McGovern amongst others – a total of 20 Crisis Talks have already taken place across the UK!
Crisis Talks are addressing the detrimental impact that lack of water and sanitation can have on the wider social environment of developing countries - health, education and nutrition are all adversely affected, and women and girls are particularly vulnerable. They frequently risk being sexually assaulted when walking to fields to defecate or when using latrines in remote locations, and they are often required to walk long distances in rural areas to collect water which prevents girls from attending school and women from engaging in economic activities.
WaterAid supporters met Jonathan Evans, MP for Cardiff North
It is time to stop this crisis and that is why WaterAid supporters have been calling on MPs to encourage them to prioritise WASH and to ensure ministerial representation at the High-Level Meeting. It is vital that this unique opportunity for real political and financial change is harnessed and that Finance and Development Ministers commit to ensuring that enough resources are available to be spent where they are needed most and in the way that is most effective.