Friday, 30 March 2012

How the World Walked for Water and Sanitation in Tamil Nadu!

For the World Walks for Water and Sanitation 2012, FANSA Tamil Nadu Chapter in India coordinated 5 exciting walks with many local partners. 2,022 women, children and grassroots farmers walked a collective distance of 22km altogether!

The Walks began on the 17th March in Madurai, Tamilnadu in coordination with SWEED, with 400 women walking 2km; an event which they repeated to mark the end of the campaign on the 25th March! This first walk was followed by a 3Km walk in Sinkamanapuri on the 19th March with 400 local women walking in coordination with SWOT, and on the 21st march with 212 local children walking 2km with the VAIGAI organisation in Sirunaykkanpatty to highlight how the water and sanitation crisis affects children disproportionately.

On the 22nd March to mark World Water Day 2012, an amazing 610 local farmers walked 10KM in Trichy with the local farmers' association! This special day was also marked by FANSA Tamil Nadu Chapter with various activities including rallies on the important issues of water, hygiene, waste and water policy on the eve of World Water Day!

The World Walks for Water and Sanitation campaign events culminated in Manachanallaur, where 200 local women walked 3km in coordination with VDC, again to draw attention to the burden particularly faced by women collecting water!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Pakistan walks for water and sanitation!

Seema Zahid is a High School teacher in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Pakistan, who also works as a Town Education Officer. Here she tells us all about the exciting walks she organised for the World Walks for Water and Sanitation campaign.

I have been working on water conservation in my city for five years and so this year we decided to celebrate World Water Day in our town to spread awareness about water conservation in the community. Four schools in my town decided to organise a walk in their community.

Our first walk was at Govt. Boys Secondary School, Manik, Shantinagar. In this school 50 students took part in the walk along with 25 of their teachers. They walked 1Km and distributed water facts and water conservation tips to the households in their community.

On the same day, the Boys Secondary School, Whitehall, walked through their community with 65 students and teachers distributing pamphlets with water facts and water conservation tips.

These two schools are located in the under privileged area of Karachi where the residents are facing problems of unavailability of water, yet the majority of them work as housemaids, waterman, gardeners and in other capacities in the upper-class areas of the city, where people waste water on a daily basis.

GBSS Sharfabad also organized a walk in an upper-class area of this city. The residents of this area have big bungalows with large gardens. They water these gardens and wash their cars, wasting large quantities of water. In this walk, more than 100 students and teachers participated and we walked one and a half kilometres. Water facts and other literature was distributed for community awareness.

75-100 students of GBSS Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Block No. 6 also joined the World Walk for Water and Sanitation on the 9th February 2012, walking approximately 1 kilometre around their school with their teachers, distributing literature on the water and sanitation crisis. The students of GBSS Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Block No. 6 also organized a science exhibition on the theme of water conservation on the same day and the student of GBSS Manik, GBSS Whitehall, and GBSS Sharfabad also participated in this exhibition with their projects.

Approximately 250 students and 50 teachers of 6 schools in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal campus visited this exhibition. Teachers assisted students in preparing models, charts, slogans and banners for the science exhibition and the water conservation awareness walk in the community. Hisaar Foundation also supported our campaign activities by providing water facts and water conservation guidelines.

Don't forget to send us your photos!

We are delighted to see such fantastic photos coming in of walks from across the globe!


You can see the highlights so far here.


Send your photos to our Flickr page!

Have you sent your photos yet? If not, please remember to send them directly to Flickr so that as many other walkers as possible can see them!
How to do it!
1) Attach your photos to an email, put the location of your event and your organisation in the subject line, add a short description of the walk in the text body.
2) Send to yay70add@photos.flickr.com Your photos will automatically appear in our photostream. This can be done using your computer or your smartphone!

All photographs sent to us will be entered in to the World Walks for Water and Sanitation photo competition! The categories are:
1. Largest amount of people in a photo
2. Most unusual location
3. Best slogan featured in a photo
4. Best lobbying of a politician in a photo
5. Most artistic photo
6. Most colourful photo
7. Most inspiring photo

Winners will have their photos featured on our website, in our publications and on our facebook page - and will also receive a certificate and some goodies!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Nepal walks for water and sanitation!


Anita Pradhan is Communications and Gender Officer at WaterAid Nepal. Here, she talks about their participation in the World Walks for Water and Sanitation!


The World Walks for Water and Sanitation takes place during Nepal National Water Week 2012 and Walks were organised by WaterAid and their partner FEDWASUN in fourteen districts in the country, with 8,000 people walking overall!


An art competition was organised by Federation of Drinking Water and Sanitation Users Nepal (FEDWASUN) in Makwanpur district on World Water Day and, on 23 March, the Nepal Academy of Science & Technology (NAST) organised a walk in Kathmandu. This was followed by a seminar on water and food security at NAST Auditorium in Lalitpur, where papers on water and food security were presented by academicians and experts.


Around 783 million around the globe still live without access to safe water. In Nepal, according to recently released UNICEF/WHO 2010 figures 11% of the country’s population still lacks access to this essential service.


Ashutosh Tiwari, of WaterAid, said:

“Meeting the Millennium Development Goal on water, by providing access to 2 billion more people in the last twenty years, shows what can be achieved. However we must not lose sight of the 783 million people who still don’t have safe water to drink. Everyone on the planet has a right to safe water to drink. This could be achieved with the right political will within our lifetime – let’s not settle for anything less than 100%.”


Friday, 23 March 2012

Time to act: Water and Toilets for all schools in Kenya!

Rima Hanano is Communications and Campaigns Manager with WASH United, one of the coordinators of the World Walks for Water and Sanitation. Here, she talks about plans for a walk in Kenya this Saturday!


"Water and Toilets for Kenyan Schools!" will be the Call to Action on Saturday, 24 March 2012, in Kayole, Nairobi. Up to 1,000 Kenyan school children and youths will join the the World Walks for Water and Sanitation campaign to demand water and toilets for formal and non-formal schools in Nairobi. At the same time, the walk will mobilise people to raise public awareness for the lack of appropriate water and sanitation infrastructure in Nairobi’s schools and the devastating effects this has on learning, health and overall well-being.

Sanitation in particular remains a massive challenge in schools in low income neighbourhoods. A 2004 estimate indicates that in public schools in Nairobi, 1 toilet is shared by about 64 students. The situation in the
Kayole area, which is located approximately 20km east of Nairobi’s Central Business District, is similar. The walk in Kayole is organized by WASH United in partnership with its national partner, the Mathare Youth Sports
Association, (MYSA). WASH United partners will be organizing two more walks in Africa, one in Lesotho (TED) and one in Uganda (UWASNET).

And You can take part too! Join in! Now is the time the World Walks for Water and Sanitation!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Sarah Blakemore is the International Campaign Coordinator for End Water Poverty

Happy World Water Day and congratulations to everyone who has organized and joined the World Walks for Water! There are now walks taking place in over 60 countries highlighting the global strength of feeling about water and sanitation and giving world leaders a clear mandate for action, just weeks before the high-level meeting on water and sanitation in Washington DC.

Each one of the 360,000 people taking part in the walks is taking a stand against the water and sanitation crisis that kills more children in Africa than HIV/AIDs, malaria and measles combined - around 4,000 young children every single day.

This year we made a huge step forward in tackling this crisis - new figures showed that the Millennium Development Goal for clean drinking water has been reached. This is a massive achievement and comes after years of campaigning by End Water Poverty members across the globe. However, with 783 million people still facing a daily struggle for water, and a staggering 2.5 billion people, still lacking access to a clean, safe toilet, there’s still so much to keep campaigning for in the fight to end water poverty.

Walks for Water and Sanitation around the world in celebration of World Water Day!

In celebration of World Water Day today, hundreds of thousands of people will be Walking for Water and Sanitation all over the world to demand an end to the water and sanitation crisis! Today’s walks will follow on from the amazing success of walks over the last few days in Zambia, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, UK, Sudan, Greece and Mozambique to name but a few!

In Belgium, an incredible 21,270 school children are walking a combined total of 133,151km today in celebration of World Water Day. The children from over 130 schools will be walking a combined distance over a third of that from the Earth to the moon!

In Madagascar an amazing 40,000 people are expected to join the Diorano-WASH Coalition across 7 regions today, including on their Walk in the capital Antananarivo, where the Minister of Water, Health and Education will be taking part! They will be calling for action to address the needs of the 67% of rural Malagasy people who still live without access to clean water!




In Sierra Leone, 1,500 people will be taking part in the 3 walks organized by WASH-Net Sierra Leone, calling on politicians to pledge to improve access to Water and Sanitation as part of their political priorities this election year! SOS Malta are also walking together with over 2,000 school children and members of the local community in Sliema today!




In addition to walks taking place all across Australia today, people are using their feet to join the World Walks for Water and Sanitation in Togo, Croatia, India, Uganda, East Timor, Austria, USA, Germany and the UK! Join them online now and do your bit for World Water Day by taking part in the World Walks for Water and Sanitation!

World Walks for Water and Sanitation celebrations in Andhra Pradesh!

Hilda Grace is President of CRSD ATP in Andhra Pradesh, India. Here she tells us about their exciting achievements for the World Walks for Water and Sanitation Campaign!

On 20th March we held a highly successful meeting with 160 WATSAN committee members and community leaders from Anantapur district in celebration of World Water Day, discussing the need for legislation to guarantee Indian citizens their right to Water and Sanitation!


This exciting meeting built upon the success of our Walk for Water and Sanitation Rally on 12th February, where over 1,500 members of the rural, mainly dalit communities of Anantapur district united in Anantapur city, Andhra Pradesh demanding legislation for the essential right to Water and Sanitation! Our Water and Sanitation demands were put forward in combination with our demand for an increase in the minimum wage, allowing us to successfully involve a greater number of people in Water and Sanitation issues.

A week after our rally, the Government of Andhra Pradesh passed an order increasing wages in the rural employment scheme, giving us high hopes for future success as the result of our campaign for water and sanitation!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

360,000 walk for water and sanitation!

Press release to mark World Water Day 2012!

360,000 people across the world are taking action on the water and sanitation crisis on and around World Water Day!

People are walking in over 60 countries from Bangladesh to Benin, Nigeria to Norway and Mozambique to Malaysia. They are walking in solidarity with the millions of people – overwhelmingly women and children - who walk great distances each day to collect water for their basic needs and the billions who have no safe place to go to the toilet.

Walking around the world

Walkers will be calling on governments to put an end to the water and sanitation crisis that kills one child under five every twenty seconds, 4,000 every day. They are walking to demand that politicians take action to tackle preventable diarrhoeal diseases that are the biggest killer of children in Africa, taking more young lives than HIV/AIDs, malaria and measles combined.

Details of some of the walks include:

  • In Belgium, an incredible 21,270 school children will be walking a combined total of 133,151km on World Water Day, that’s over a third of the distance from the Earth to the moon!
  • The entire Cirque de Soleil cast are planning a walk through Las Vegas in their costumes.
  • 30 energetic walkers in London are currently training to walk the 20 miles from one side of the city to the other.
  • Over 10,000 people will walk in Nigeria whilst 40,000 are expected to walk in Madagascar, both countries directly affected directly by the water and sanitation crisis.
  • In Kannungu in Uganda, walkers are meeting with the Minister of Water and Environment, and officials from the Ministry of Health to tell them it’s time for action.

At crisis point

Edith Veromaminiaina, Research Officer at WaterAid in Madagascar, described the extent of the crisis:

“70% of the Malagasy people live in rural areas, where the access to drinking water is less than 34%. In many places, children set off on their walk to collect water late at night and don’t arrive home until the next morning. They have a sleepless night and walk very far but still only draw dirty water. This is why we are taking part in The World Walks for Water and Sanitation.”

Jennifer Williams, coordinator of the World Walks for Water and Sanitation campaign added, “Unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation mean children are missing school and are dying needlessly from disease caused by contaminated water. Ending this crisis would increase school attendance, help break the poverty cycle and, most importantly, save lives.”

Demanding that world leaders take action

This year, the timing of the World Walks for Water and Sanitation is crucial. It comes almost exactly a month before leaders from across the world gather in Washington D.C. at a vital meeting on the 20th of April to discuss what they are going to do to get taps and toilets to the world’s poorest communities.

This High-Level Meeting, organised by the Sanitation and Water for All partnership, is a huge opportunity for real change but it won’t work unless Development and Finance Ministers give it the attention it deserves.

Participants in the World Walks for Water and Sanitation event will send a clear message to politicians that they cannot ignore the water and sanitation crisis any longer. They will demand that leaders commit to attending this meeting and prepare to make strong commitments for action.

Mubu Kalaluka, Project Manager at ROCS in Zambia, insisted that water and sanitation must be a political priority. "In Zambia, the key messages for the Government will be that the status quo is not acceptable and the Government needs to do more to ensure access to water and sanitation."

Jon Lane, Executive Director of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) stresses that it is important that governments understand that sanitation and water are clever investments. “Investing in sanitation, one of the most off-track Millennium Development Goals, generates a 1 to 9 return. It is difficult to imagine any business person passing on the chance to make such a profit; yet this is just what is happening today.”

Notes for editors:

1. The World Walks for Water is organized by the following organisations:

· End Water Poverty is a global coalition of over 175 organisations campaigning to end the water and sanitation crisis.

· Freshwater Action Network (FAN) is a major network of civil society organisations implementing and influencing water and sanitation policy and practice.

· WASH Advocacy Initiative is a nonprofit advocacy effort in Washington DC entirely dedicated to helping solve the global safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) challenge.

· WASH United is a coalition of civil society organisations, United Nation agencies, governments and sport stars promoting safe drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) for all people, everywhere.

· WaterAid is an NGO dedicated to helping people escape the stranglehold of poverty and disease caused by living without safe water and sanitation.

· The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council is a global multi-stakeholder partnership organisation that works to improve the lives of poor people.

· The World Toilet Organisation communicates the need for better toilet standards in both the developed and developing economies of the world and provides a service platform for all toilet associations, related organisations and committed individuals to facilitate an exchange of ideas relating to health and cultural issues.

· The Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) is a growing alliance that brings together trade unions, INGOs, the women’s and youth movements, community and faith groups and others to call for action from world leaders in the global North and South to meet their promises to end poverty and inequality.

News on the World Walks for Water and Sanitation in Nigeria!


Albert Ezeigwe is President of the Christian Fellowship and Care Foundation in Nigeria. Here he tells us all about their exciting Walk for Water and Sanitation which took place in Ehime Mbano in Imo State.


We kicked off our World Walks for Water and Sanitation Walk from the Christian Fellowship and Care Foundation head office in Ehime Mbano. From here we headed straight to the Ehime Mbano Local Government headquarters, singing as we marched to gain attention in the local community and distributing leaflets to inform people of the reason for our walk! When we reached the Local Government Headquarters, we were greeted by the Local Government Chairman, Jude Nwokenkwo, who heard our statement on the problems facing people in the local community without access to clean water and sanitation, in particular making him aware of the problems caused by the local government abandoning its programmes to improve water and sanitation. As a result the Chairman has promised to present our proposal for creating a new WASH programme for the local community, including in local schools, to the Local Council.


After this, we walked from the Local Government Headquarters to the office of the Ehime Mbano constituency representative to the Imo House of Assembly, Hon. Kingsley Dimaku. Here I gave a further speech calling on local politicians to take action ensuring Water and Sanitation for All local people. As a result of this and the attention we gained during our walk, the Honourable representative has pledged to make the government aware of the plight of local people without access to water and sanitation by delivering our message to the House of Assembly in the hope that this will get the government to address local Water and Sanitation needs.


Overall our walk was very successful and people in the local community very much appreciated our raising awareness of the problems they face due to lack of clean water and sanitations, and especially getting the Local Government Chairman and Honourable Representative to the House of Assembly to promise to address these issue by make the government aware of what is needed to provide water and sanitation for all – a great achievement!

Zambia walks for water and sanitation!

Jennifer Williams is the Campaigns Officer at End Water Poverty and a coordinator of the World Walks for Water and Sanitation.

When I woke up yesterday in Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, I was full of anticipation! I was here to attend the World Walks for Water and Sanitation event organised by the NGO WASH Forum, including WaterAid Zambia and End Water Poverty member ROCS.

For the past 8 months, I have been sitting at the EWP HQ in London working on the World Walks for Water and Sanitation campaign. I have been producing toolkits, posters and country snapshots and chatting with civil society organisations across the world about their plans for the walks. Now, the World Walks for Water and Sanitation week is in full swing and we're all delighted that an incredible 359,000 people in over 65 countries are walking to demand political action to get clean water and adequate sanitation to the poorest communities. The numbers are fantastic and, as photos reach us from across the globe, we have started to see the campaign coming to life! However, attending this event in Lusaka was to be my first real experience of the World Walks for Water and Sanitation in action!




And it didn't disappoint! From the moment I arrived at the starting point in Northmead to see hundreds of people in matching campaign t-shirts, to the amazing police band that led us on our walk and the dancing and singing that accompanied it, I was delighted to be part of it. As we marched down the busiest road in Lusaka, Great East Road, drivers slowed down to read our banners which included messages such as "Invest wisely, invest in water" and "Show your commitment to WASH". Pedestrians even danced alongside us as we progressed!





We definitely grabbed attention and raised awareness!

When we reached Arcades shopping centre, a representative of the Minister of Lusaka was there to hear our messages. We gathered to watch a play by a local drama group on the negative impact that lack of accessible, clean drinking water can have on
family life, particularly when men object to their wives being out of the house all day collecting water. We then heard a poem by local school children telling us that they would take a stand against the crisis - incredibly inspiring! And the final highlight was a statement by the Minister to assure us she had heard our voices and believed water and sanitation deserved more attention. Great to hear!

Overall, a thought-provoking, inspiring and exciting day which showed me why the World Walks for Water and Sanitation is so successful in bringing people together and getting our voices heard on the water and sanitation crisis!

Here, Mubu from ROCS tells us why he is walking:


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

End Water Poverty at the World Water Forum


Sarah Blakemore is the International Campaignator Coordinator at End Water Poverty

Last week the End Water Poverty team were at the World Water Forum in Marseille. We joined up with the Butterfly Effect, a coalition of NGOs from across the world working together during the forum to push for progress on water and sanitation. We were there to organise a side event to discuss the future of Water and Sanitation after 2015 and take part in a World Water Forum ‘Walk for Water and Sanitation’.

The walk was to kick off ‘The World Walks for Water and Sanitation’, focusing attention on the hundreds of thousands of people walking together across the globe this week. Our rallying cry of ‘TAPS AND TOILETS!!’ or ‘DES ROBINETS ET DES TOILETTES!!’ echoed around the busy conference centre and we carried buckets and banners with slogans calling on world leaders to take action to end the water and sanitation crisis.

Later in the week we organised a side event on the theme of ‘Should Water and Sanitation be in the new MDGs?’ The event was designed to be interactive and give members a chance to discuss how we can ensure that water, sanitation and hygiene are given the attention they deserve in the post-2015 framework; find out how civil society can feed into the post 2015 debate; what lessons we can take from the MDGs; and to establish key action points for water and sanitation beyond 2015. We talked about the human right to water and sanitation, equity and inclusion, political prioritization, cross sector working and the importance of focusing on sanitation as being the most off-track target .

For me though, the best part of the trip was meeting so many members in person. It was great to sit down face-to face with people I had previously only known as a Skype photograph, an email or a voice on the phone and make plans for how we would continue to work together in the future.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Walks in every state and territory of Australia!

Olivia Greenwell is the Campaigns and Communications Officer at WaterAid Australia. Here, she blogs about the fantastic plans for the World Walks for Water and Sanitation across the country!


This week, Australians will walk in every state and territory calling on the Australian Government to put an end to the water and sanitation crisis. In Melbourne, 600 students from Blackburn High School will walk a combined total of 3,000 kms – that is the equivalent of Melbourne to Brisbane and then back again!


In South Australia, the main water utility company, SA Water, will encourage all staff to take a walk for water and sanitation during their World Water Day lunch break. Combined with students walking from Adelaide University there should be a lot of activity in South Australia!


Brisbane walkers have battled local Council permit requirements to bring together over 200 staff and supporters to walk through the CBD.


Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Richard Marles, will ask all politicians to wear a ‘World Walks for Water and Sanitation’ badge in Parliament on 22 March 2012.


In Australia’s region, two countries directly affected by the water and sanitation crisis, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste, will see a combined total of 500 people walking for water and sanitation this week too!


Photos to follow!

20 mile walk across London!

Sabiha Khan is from Interpal, an organisation working to alleviate poverty in Palestine. Here she blogs about their Walk for Water and Sanitation in London.

What is a leader? You may not consider yourself one- you may imagine someone who speaks loudly and confidently, someone who always appears to be guiding others and showing them a way to success.

But by taking part in the World Walks for Water and Sanitation, you are demonstrating to the world that you are leading the way towards ending water poverty, and demanding that everyone in the world has access to clean water and sanitation. Nobody should have to walk miles every day for water and be deprived of their education- the key to a bright future.

And Interpal are also asking those joining their walk across London on 24 March 2012 to use it as an opportunity to raise funds to buy water tanks for families and to install desalination plants in the occupied Gaza Strip.

By showing that you support End Water Poverty, you are proving to leaders of nations around the world that you don’t see why 4,000 children should die every day of diseases caused by dirty water. By also encouraging your friends and family to sponsor you, you can go the extra mile towards ensuring that Palestinians obtain more sustainable access to clean water.

In the Gaza Strip alone, nearly 93% of the available water does not meet World Health Organisation standards. By taking part in Interpal’s 20 mile walk on the 24th March and helping to provide water tanks for Palestinian families, you’ll be demonstrating to world leaders that you leading the way to clean water from everyone.

We need leaders. Because leaders don’t just talk: Leaders act.

You don’t have to be especially fit to walk the 20 miles, as we will be having plenty of breaks and we will be providing a complimentary meal at the finish! All welcome, so spread the word about the future of water and take part in World Walks for Water and Sanitation!

Picture by Andrew McConnell

Friday, 16 March 2012

Malta joins the World in Walking for Water and Sanitation!

Claudia Taylor-East is the Managing Director of SOS Malta; here she tells us all about their exciting plans for the World Walks for Water and Sanitation!

SOS Malta will be walking in Sliema together with over 2,000 local school children and members of the local community! Our Walk will be taking place down the main high street in Sliema and the Minister of Rural Affairs will be walking with us as part of a joint campaign with the Ministry on raising awareness for conservation of water. All local school children in Sliema will be taking part, beginning the walk at their schools carrying empty jerry cans, walking to fill them up and then walking back to school carrying their full jerry cans as a stunt to highlight the impact of time spent collecting water on children’s education! A chain of slogans highlighting other water and sanitation issues will also be carried by walkers.

Local media will be attending to cover our event which will be publicised to the whole of Malta. We have also involved some of our local corporate partners who will be walking with us to demonstrate the importance of corporate responsibility in the Water sector. Each of our 4-5 partners involved will be carrying their own message supporting the need for better water and sanitation and using their corporate walk to try and get the rest of the business sector more involved in Water and Sanitation issues!

During the Walk we will be calling on the Government of Malta to increase ODA as well as place more focus on water in funding. The Minister of Rural Affairs will also be making a speech as part of the Walk, and we also hope to have the Dutch Ambassador to Malta in attendance, both raising the political profile of the day’s events!

The world gets ready to Walk for Water and Sanitation!

With over 300,000 people around the world now registered to take action and walk this week and our first walks kicking off tomorrow in India, UK and Nigeria the world is now well and truly poised to Walk for Water and Sanitation!

We’ve had loads of exciting updates on plans for walks all over the world, from Mozambique, where 200 people will be walking 3km from Quelimane, to Malta where over 2,000 local residents and school children will be walking to collect water and returning with it to their schools to draw attention to the millions of children around the world who must take time out of education every day to do the same!

Walks will be starting across India in the next 24 hours with 5,000 people walking across 18 villages in the next week. We also have walks taking place in Sri Lanka, where 500 people will be walking to demand better access to clean water and sanitation, in Togo where up to 800 people will be walking to deliver a declaration to government officials in Dapaing, and up to a whopping 40,000 people walking together in 6 regions of Madagascar!

Banga Jananee will be undertaking a whole week of activities to lobby decision makers on water and sanitation issues in Bangladesh and Wash-NET Sierra Leone will be drawing on the importance of this year’s national elections to engage various political parties in their three walks! Seed for African Relief Agency in Ghana are even hoping to get Asamoah Gyan himself involved in their Walk!

It’s all very exciting stuff and there is still time for you to get involved by joining our Online Walk for Water and Sanitation, organising your own or joining a Walk near you!

Exciting plans for the World Walks for Water and Sanitation in Mozambique, Sri Lanka and Togo!

Three of our partners from Mozambique, Sri Lanka and Togo update us on their exciting plans for the World Walks for Water and Sanitation!

Marcos Paulo do Amaral from CECOHAS tells us about their plans in Mozambique:

CECOHAS is partnering with ELDRT and SOMGZA (a forum of NGOs in Mozambique) to organise its Walk for Water and Sanitation. The walk will take place in Quelimane and participants will walk for 3KM. At present we are hoping to have up to 200 people taking part with many local school children also getting involved! We have invited the director of the Ministry for the Coordination of Environmental Affairs as well as the president of the municipality of Quelimane and other local ministers to attend to raise awareness and get them to take action to achieve Sanitation and Water for All!

Dr Winston De Silva, Chairman of Saviya Development Foundation tells us about their plans in Sri Lanka:

Our Walk will be taking place in Matara of Southern Province, Sri Lanka, right at the start of the World Walks for Water and Sanitation campaign on the 17th March. We will have around 500 people taking part walking 3km from Walgama to Nupe, and the Walk will be attended by the Hon. Cabinet Minister for Media, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane. A public meeting on Water and Sanitation issues will also be taking place along with dance performances from local children - it is set to be a very exciting day indeed!

Kossi Loumonvi from ONG Jeunes Volontair es pour l'Environment tells us about their plans in Togo:

We will be walking in Dapaong in northern Togo on the 29th March, where The Ministry of Water and Sanitation will also be celebrating World Water Day. We are mobilizing together with other local NGO partners, students and women’s associations and expect to have between 500 and 800 participants. As part of the walk and the day’s celebrations we will also be meeting government officials and delivering a declaration to them on the need to improve access to clean water and sanitation!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Impressions from the World Water Forum in Marseille

Olivier Germain is End Water Poverty's new Campaigns Advisor, here he tells us all about his impressions of the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille!

The World Water Forum can be a daunting place. 20,000 participants, huge exhibition halls filled with hundreds of colourful stalls, and a cacophony of sounds from animated discussions and slick corporate videos, to press conferences and the splashing sound of funky water fountains. Amid all this, is a pod, known as the Butterfly Effect area, the site where NGOs from across the world hover and promote their joint solutions to have a sustainable impact on water and sanitation. This is where I meet civil society representatives from Asia, Africa and Latin America, debating how to work more effectively together and with common messages. From small NGOs to larger national coalitions, the place is buzzing with ideas, preparations for sessions and plans on how best to get leaders to listen to our demands. This hub also provides the ideal launching point for End Water Poverty’s World Walks for Water and Sanitation, as people joined up to add their voice to demand for more action in delivering water and sanitation to those currently lacking access to these vital services. Although the size of the forum, the diversity of displays, and the flood of information can appear overwhelming, the opportunity to meet face to face with partners and like-minded organisations is certainly one to cherish.

Press attention for your World Walks for Water and Sanitation 2012!

After kicking off the World Walks for Water and Sanitation in Marseille things are getting even more exciting! Over 280,000 people have now registered to take part and more people are registering every day! We expect over 300,000 walkers!



Get media attention for your Walk!


For all World Walks for Water and Sanitation organisers it's really important to engage the media with the campaign. The more media attention the walks get, the more we will raise awareness of the water and sanitation crisis and the more pressure we will put on politicians to act. We want to make sure that world leaders know we are looking for decisive action and firm commitments to get taps and toilets to the world's poorest communities.



We've produced a template press release for you to use in both English ( DOC File 43KB) and French ( DOC File 36KB)! Please do adapt this to make it relevant to your country and your walk. Include how many people you are expecting to join your walk and add a quote from you about why you want to see action taken on the water and sanitation crisis! You can download a handy guide on how to distribute your press release here too!



You might want to circulate a press release both before and after your event. Keep checking the website to find out the number of expected walkers and include the updated figure when you send out the press release!


Remember to send us your photos!

Remember, it couldn't be easier to send us your photos to our Flickr page! Photos are already being sent in as we speak!How to do it!

1) Attach your photos to an email, put the location of your event and your organisation in the subject line, add a short description of the walk in the text body.

2) Send to yay70add@photos.flickr.com Your photos will automatically appear in our photostream. This can be done using your computer or your smartphone!

Winners will have their photos featured on our website, in our publications and on our facebook page - and will also receive a certificate and some goodies!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Exciting plans for the World Walks for Water and Sanitation in Zambia!

Mubu is from ROCS in Zambia. Here he blogs about their exciting plans for the World Walks for Water and Sanitation 2012 in Zambia!






Our Walk is taking place on 20th March from Northmead to Arcades and we are expecting around 300 to 500 people to attend, as well as trying to enlist the support and involvement of a player from the national football team, which would bring a lot more people to join the walk and support the cause! We are also hoping to have the Provincial Minister in attendance to receive a petition from a group of school children and someone who has experienced poor water supply and sanitation in Lusaka.


The key messages for the Government will be that the status quo is not acceptable and the government needs to do more to ensure access to water and sanitation! We are also going to be calling on the Minister of Finance to attend the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting and provide clear and measurable commitments for improvements and prioritization of WASH.

Key petitions will be delivered by the WaterAid Country Representative, UNICEF WASH Section Chief and the WASH Forum Coordinator targeting the minister to seriously consider making WASH a top priority. To raise awareness for the need for improved water and sanitation a group of school children will be reciting poems on why access to safe water and sanitation are important to them. In addition a testimony will be read by someone who has experienced lack of access to water and sanitation and its devastating effects firsthand!

The walk will be lead by a police marching band and with our key messages carried on banners and placards as well as printed on t-shirts. The Walk will be publicized on a live radio programme and promoted through adverts on both radio and TV. There will also be some cultural performances at the Arcades to end the walk, all making for a very exciting day!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Walking for water and sanitation in Marseille!

End Water Poverty are at the World Water Forum in Marseille! And it's a great opportunity for Olivier and Sarah, our two newest secretariat staff members, to meet some of our members and partners.



The World Water Forum is huge and it would be easy to get lost and so we were pleased to attend a pre-Forum session run by the Butterfly Effect yesterday at which we met lots of other NGOs and CSOs including some of our members and partners. The Butterfly Effect is a global coalition that aims to ensure that NGOs and CSOs have the most meaningful and effective presence during the World Water Forum - and make sure that we all get our voices heard.


Yesterday afternoon, they held a press conference which was a great opportunity for civil society to get their messages across about how they want to see the lack of clean water and adequate sanitation addressed. These messages will be available online soon.


Immediately after this press conference, came our Walk for Water and Sanitation! Many people said this was the highlight of their day!! It was energetic, fun and very noisy! We walked right through the inside of the Forum hall and around the whole of the courtyard area shouting 'taps and toilets for all' and singing and dancing! Lots of people took our photos and we had good deal of attention from journalists - so we will be looking out for ourselves in the World Water Forum news this week! A big thanks to everyone who joined us!


Are you organising a Walk for Water and Sanitation? Make sure you tell us about it by registering at http://www.worldwalksforwater.org/eng/real_walks/index . It's not too late to get involved! And, if you don't have time to organise a walk, why not walk in solidarity by joining in online: http://www.worldwalksforwater.org/eng/participators/join .




Keep an eye on this blog to read more from the World Water Forum and to see more photos of Walks for Water and Sanitation as the campaign kicks off this Saturday 17th March!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Send us photos of your Walks for Water and Sanitation!

Almost a quarter of a million people have now signed up!

We need to make sure we capture your photos and stories from your Walks for Water and Sanitation! And, like last year, we are again running an exciting photo competition for you all!

This year, we are making a film about the World Walks for Water and Sanitation to show world leaders that hundreds of thousands of people want them to attend the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting in Washington D.C! Once there, we want to let them know that we are watching and expect them to make firm commitments to ensure they get taps and toilets to the world's poorest communities.

As you know, the SWA High-Level Meeting takes place only a month after World Water Day so we will be making the film very quickly! If you want photos of your walk to appear in the film, please do send them by 27th March!

Send your photos to our flickr page!

How to do it!
1) Attach your photos to an email, put the location of your event and your organisation in the subject line, add a short description of the walk in the text body.
2) Send to yay70add@photos.flickr.com Your photos will automatically appear in our photostream. This can be done using your computer or your smartphone!

All photographs sent to us will be entered in to the World Walks for Water and Sanitation photo competition! The categories are:
1. Largest amount of people in a photo
2. Most unusual location
3. Best slogan featured in a photo
4. Best lobbying of a politician in a photo
5. Most artistic photo
6. Most colourful photo
7. Most inspiring photo

Winners will have their photos featured on our website, in our publications and on our facebook page - and will also receive a certificate and some goodies!

We are very excited about seeing your photos!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Celebrating International Women’s Day the EWP way!

Natasha Horsfield is the Campaigns and Communications intern at End Water Poverty. In awareness for International Women's Day she blogs here about how poor water and sanitation impacts particularly on women and girls.

Women and girls around the world continue to be the most affected by lack of access to safe water and sanitation, particularly in rural communities where populations have the lowest access to these essential facilities. Improving access to clean water, adequate sanitation and hygiene is therefore vital for women’s empowerment; a key issue to this year’s International Women’s Day theme of Empowering Rural Women!

In many societies it is women and girls’ responsibility to collect water. The long hours this requires every day means women and girls have less time to attend school and engage in economic activities. This severely limits female access to education and contributes to women’s marginal economic status, reinforcing gender inequalities in education and employment. Women’s traditional role in caring for the sick means their time is also restricted by frequent illness (both theirs and their family’s) caused by dirty water and poor sanitation.



Poor sanitation and hygiene increases women’s risk of dying during childbirth and also impedes female access to education as girls often drop out of school when they reach puberty because of menstrual hygiene needs. This is an important issue in 60 developing countries where only 37% of primary schools have access to adequate sanitation facilities.



Lack of access to adequate sanitation also particularly affects women and girl’s personal security as they frequently risk being sexually assaulted when walking to fields to defecate or when using latrines in remote locations and after dark. This danger is in addition to the loss of personal dignity entailed in open defecation.

Improving access to clean water and adequate sanitation and hygiene leads to women’s empowerment and the reduction of gender inequalities in society. The UN announcement this week that the MDG target to halve the number of people living without safe drinking water has been met goes a great way to achieving this, but there is still a long way to go to increase access to clean water and particularly sanitation, and ensure that all women and girls can benefit from the resulting opportunities and the safety they deserve!

The World Walks for Water and Sanitation is walking in solidarity with women and girls around the world between the 17th-25th March to highlight the issues they face as a result of poor water and sanitation, and to call on world leaders to take action to end the water and sanitation crisis. Why not join us in solidarity with these women this International Women’s Day by joining our online walk , signing up for one of our many walks around the world near you or organising your own!

New Country snapshots!

Natasha Horsfield is the Campaigns and Communications intern at End Water Poverty. Here she blogs about our new Country Snapshots available now for the World Walks for Water and Sanitation.

The World Walks for Water and Sanitation is fast approaching and we have a whole set of new and up to date country snapshots available to help you tailor your national demands for the campaign!

These brilliant new resources give you all the key information you need about the water and sanitation crisis in your country, as well as key asks and key decision makers to target to help you shape what you are calling for at your World Walks for Water and Sanitation event; particularly in the build up to the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting in April 2012!

Use the information in your country snapshot alongside specific issues you wish to highlight at your event and make your national decision makers take notice at this year’s World Walks for Water and Sanitation!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

New leaflet for your walks!

Natasha Horsfield is the Campaigns and Communications intern at End Water Poverty. Here, she blogs about the new World Walks for Water and Sanitation leaflet and gives updates on the campaign so far!

Things are really hotting up here at End Water Poverty in the build up to the World Walks for Water and Sanitation! We have a great new resource available (soon be available in French too) to help you organise your walk and inspire others to get involved – the World Walks for Water and Sanitation Leaflet!

It’s a great resource to give out at walks, leave in local offices and hand out before World Water Day to encourage people to take part; explaining why the World is Walking for Water and Sanitation, why Water and Sanitation is SO important and why people should get involved!

The number of people who will be walking for water and sanitation around the world is now past 230,000! Exciting walks have been organised across the globe including in Belgium, where KTA-Wollemarkt are organising a 25km walk, in India where FANSA India have mobilised 25,000 people to walk in various locations, and in Madagascar where over 40,000 people are expected to walk! Other exciting events include 6km walks taking place in Sierra Leone (organised by WASH-Net Sierra Leone) and Benin (organised by ICA Benin) as well as multiple walks in Pakistan, the UK and Brazil to name just a few!

With campaign momentum building around the world, why not join a walk near to you, organise your own or sign up online! Details of how to do so and how your action can make a real difference can also be found in our new leaflet, available in the resources section of our website!