Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood and local Clifton Grove campaigner Ramnick Modasia walked for water at Westminster today as part of a global campaign to raise awareness for the world water and sanitation crisis.
Marking the United Nations World Water Day, the City MP and Mr Modasia joined hundreds of thousands of people across the globe who walked in solidarity with the almost 900 million people worldwide who still have no access to safe drinking water, and the 2.6 billion people without a toilet. The event, called World Walks for Water, was organised by campaign group End Water Poverty.
It is estimated that in the world’s poorest countries, women and girls spend a staggering 40 billion hours every year fetching and carrying water. Households in rural Africa spend an average of 26% of their time fetching water, carrying water containers weighing as much as 20kg, the same as the average baggage allowance on most airlines. The lack of safe water and toilets has a huge impact on a woman’s ability to earn a living, get an education and spend time with her family.
Lilian Greenwood said:
“I am proud to be joining hundreds of thousands of people around the world in raising awareness of the plight of people in developing countries who do not have safe water to drink or basic sanitation.”
“I am calling on the UK Government to do all they can to tackle this crisis. Not only should everybody have the right to clean water and sanitation but it is also essential to tackling poverty.”
“Investing in water and sanitation could help prevent up to 1.4 million child deaths every year, the world must take action now.”
Mr Modasia said:
“Here in the UK it’s hard to begin to imagine what life would be like if we didn’t have clean water coming from our taps, or a toilet in our homes to use but for billions around the world this is the reality, which has dire consequences on their ability to survive.”
Harriet Harman said:
“For many people in the developing world going into the kitchen and turning on the tap for a glass of water is a luxury they can only imagine.”
“I strongly support End Water Poverty in raising awareness of the desperate situation of many people in some of the poorest countries of the world who do not have access to safe water or basic sanitation.
“Access to water and sanitation is essential for tackling global poverty. There must be a concerted international effort to step up efforts to stop children dying needlessly from illnesses caused by lack of access to basic sanitation and clear water. The UK’s development aid makes a real difference. The Government must lead efforts to ensure that the billions of people who do not have access to these basic services don’t have to wait any longer.”