Our Walks for Water and Sanitation began from two locations in Freetown on World Water Day, with a total of 1,200 people walking 10km to meet at a central point. Walkers carried banners and placards calling for increased budgetary allocation to water and sanitation and demanding WASH commitments in the build up to the 2012 elections, stating ‘give me water and sanitation and I will vote for you!’ People also sang anti-poverty songs and chanted slogans as they marched through the main streets of the city, and shared flyers with other members of the public to create awareness. A key demand of the day’s events was to keep up pressure to ensure leaders carried commitments beyond the upcoming Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting in Washington.
Representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources joined the walk and a position statement on the urgent need for increased commitment, prioritisation and improved water, sanitation and hygiene was read out and presented to the Government of Sierra Leone on the day. The walk was very successful, particularly in improving citizen’s understanding of the relevance of WASH to public health concerns and getting people involved in the message of WASH importance for the first time!