Water Aid Loo-roll Lobbying

With all the attention grabbed by Live8, you may have missed reports of the activities of Water Aid. Water Aid may not have reached the millions of people who at least glanced at the Live8 concerts, but credit must be given: they did successfully encourage 18,000 people to write a message on an empty toilet roll and send it to Prime Minister Tony Blair before the G8 summit! WaterAid campaigner, Jennean Alkadiri says, "During the three days of the G8 summit, over 17,000 children will die from preventable diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. The thousands of people across the UK who have sent us a toilet roll tube with a message to Tony Blair have shown that we will not stand by and ignore the scandal of poverty."

The messages remind Tony Blair that to make poverty history, some of the promised aid must be focused on providing clean water and sanitary systems to stop the waste of time and lives lost to the most preventable of illnesses. Water Aid used its own star power with Feliciano dos Santos, a member of one of Mozambique's biggest bands Massukos, leading the presentation of the unusual communiqué to number 10 Downing Street. In his day job, dos Santos is head of the public health NGO Estamos ("We are" in translation), working to implement the use of safe composting toilets in Mozambique.

Tracking the messages which came out of the G8 to see if this meeting would focus on this issue, Stephen Turner of Water Aid took special note of reports that US President Bush was "struck by the fact that lack of toilets keeps girls out of school." Maybe your treehugger deed for the day is to tune in to Water Aid and see what you can do to help.