Thursday, 12 April 2012

The World Walks for Water and Sanitation in Timor-Leste!


Jose Seixas from WaterAid in Timor-Leste tells us all about how Timor-Leste joined the World Walks for Water and Sanitation!


On 27th of March, WaterAid, the Government department for Water and Sanitation and other NGOs celebrated world water day in Timor-Leste by holding a Walk for Water and Sanitation in the capital Dili. As part of a global campaign, 100 people walked together starting from the Dili Convention Center and ending at the Water and Sanitation Department Building. Walkers included staff of government, and NGOs and agencies including WaterAid, ChildFund, Unicef, The Red Cross, The Promise, Oxfam, ADRA and World Vision, and community members.


People walked at least 2km while carrying 10 litre jerry cans filled with water, so that they could experience what many people living in rural areas of Timor-Leste experience every day “where 31% of population do not have access to safe water and 50% of population do not have access to sanitation” according to the WaterAid Country Representative.


At the end of the walk there were activities including music, the signing of a petition banner by all participants and a role play on water and sanitation from a local drama group.


The Ambassador of Australia to Timor-Leste and the Minister of Infrastructure, as well as representatives of the community and NGOs delivered speeches on the importance of giving increasing priority to providing increased access to clean water and sanitation especially in rural areas in Timor-Leste. WaterAid encouraged NGOs, agencies and government to continue to work together to ensure effective progress in achieving access to water and sanitation for all!

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