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Digital Subscriptions > Life and Work > June 2019 > Bringing clean water and sanitation

Bringing clean water and sanitation

Jackie Macadam reports on Toilet Twinning and AquAid, projects seeking to bring clean water and sanitation to communities.
Toilets provide safety and dignity for women and girls in unstable regions of Democratic Republic of Congo.
Photo: Ralph Hodgson / Toilet Twinning

WE take it so much for granted. Going to a nice tiled loo. Flushing afterwards and washing our hands.

Most of us don’t give it a moment’s thought, but for millions of people around the world, even just that simple everyday task is fraught not just with danger on a personal and a medical level, but is actually an impossibility, because the facilities just don’t exist.

“We exist because 2.3 billion people still don’t have a safe, clean toilet and 844 million people still lack access to safe, clean drinking water”, says Lorraine Kingsley, the CEO of Tearfund’s Toilet Twinning project.

“Climate change, industry and agriculture all play their part in putting pressure on precious water resources. As water scarcity increases, all the warnings are that water will increasingly become a driver of conflict, as it already has in places such as Darfur in Sudan and Syria, according to some commentators.

“UN Water says that water scarcity already affects every continent – and global water use is rising at more than twice the rate of population increase. The worst affected areas are Asia and the Middle East.

“This situation is compounded by the fact that the amount of fresh water available to us is shrinking because of contamination caused by issues like toxic waste from rubbish dumps that seeps into the soil and rivers and factories and industry tipping chemicals into drains and waterways. Pesticides and fertilisers used in agriculture are polluting rivers and untreated sewage is still pumped into rivers and the sea.

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About Life and Work

IN THIS ISSUE BRINGING CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION Toilet Twinning and AquAid 'FROM JEELY PIECE TO JANE HAINING' Mary Miller and her new book 'COME TO CHURCH' The Weekend of Invitation BAKING BREAD The work of CrossReach project, Threshold and much more ......