Natasha Horsfield is campaigns and communications officer for End Water Poverty, the organisation running The World Walks for Water and Sanitation—a global event demanding action to address the world’s water and sanitation crisis. Child Health Now stands in solidarity with everyone participating in this event.
Every day, 2,000 children die from diarrhoeal illness caused by unsafe sanitation and dirty water. This global sanitation and water crisis affects 2.5 billion people who live without a safe toilet and 783 million who still lack access to clean drinking water.
The World Walks for Water and Sanitation is calling on politicians to end this crisis by taking action to keep their promises on ensuring sanitation and water for all. This mass global movement mobilises communities both directly affected by the crisis and those walking in solidarity with the many women and children who must walk for miles each day just to collect water and find a private place to go to the toilet.
Last year, over 380,000 people in 72 countries joined the World Walks for Water and Sanitation to demand political change. Governments listened and responded by adding their promises to existing commitments at local, regional, national and international levels to ensure access to clean water and sanitation for the world’s poorest countries and communities. However, many of these promises have not been kept, so thousands of people are walking again this year to call on politicians to keep their promises and improve access to clean water and sanitation.
Over 221,000 people from Nigeria to Nepal, Bangladesh to Belgium and Colombia to Cameroon are already registered to take action from 16 to 24 March to demand that their politicians keep their promises on water and sanitation and we want you to join them! Some events planned so far include:
- In Sierra Leone, over 2,500 people will be taking part in walks across the country, including in Freetown. The Minister for the recently established Ministry for Water Resources, the Honourable Momodu Elongima Maligie, has been invited to attend.
- Almost 20,000 school children will be walking a collective distance of over 100,000 km (more than 62,000 miles) in Belgium.
- Over 10,000 people in Pakistan and over 20,000 people in India will be walking.
- A three day sit-in and petition action is planned at the Ministries of Health, Lands and Mines and Public Works in Liberia.
Diarrhoea caused by lack of access to clean water and sanitation is one of the major killers of children under age 5, and World Vision have joined the World Walks for Water and Sanitation as part of the Child Health Now campaign in a call for an end to this global crisis. Together, we are walking to tell leaders that it is simply unacceptable that 700,000 children are still dying each year from diarrhoeal illnesses which are preventable and that action must be taken now to ensure access to safe sanitation and clean water for all who need it.
You can take action to call for an end to this crisis by joining the World Walks for Water and Sanitation! Organise your own walk, join one near you or join the walk online.
For more information visit the website: www.worldwalksforwater.org