Monday, 18 June 2012

Thirst for change!

Sarah Hagger-Holt is Campaigns Writer at CAFOD, one of the member organisations of End Water Poverty, Here, she tells us about the success of their recent Thirst for change campaign.

Prime Minister David Cameron could be left in no doubt about the need for urgent action on water and sanitation, after receiving over 60,000 actions – including postcards, emails, personal prayers and messages on water droplets – as part of CAFOD's Thirst for change campaign which ended in May 2012. 

These actions showed the UK government that CAFOD supporters care about the water and sanitation crisis.

“I received a huge amount of correspondence from CAFOD supporters, particularly from school children,” Andrew Mitchell writes in a letter to CAFOD Director Chris Bain. “It is really encouraging to know that young people in the UK care so deeply about the problems facing others in the world... It is truly shocking that even today over 780 million people do not have access to clean water and 2.5 billion people do not have proper sanitation. These statistics led to my decision to double the already ambitious commitment on water and sanitation that we made last year.” 

David Cameron missed a crucial opportunity at the G8 to raise the water and sanitation crisis with other leaders,” says Head of Campaigns Clare Lyons. “At the summit there were no new commitments that would help end water poverty once and for all. But, in April, four months into the Thirst for change campaign, the UK government announced increased support to benefit over 60 million people -the equivalent of the entire UK population- over the next three years. The actions of CAFOD supporters lent weight and influence around this issue at a vital time, and mean that we can keep pressing the government to go further and faster on this issue and on other root causes of poverty.” Photo gallery and film from the Thirst for change hand-in

The actions of CAFOD supporters added strength to a growing and powerful global movement.

“We’d like to congratulate CAFOD supporters on taking action to end the water and sanitation crisis in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of campaigners around the world” says Sarah Blakemore from End Water Poverty. “This remarkable show of support brought attention to the issue at a critical time in the run up to a historic meeting in Washington DC, where both developed and developing country leaders made new pledges to lift tens of millions more people out of water poverty.” Read more about this meeting here.

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