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many months of preparation, people in 78 countries participated in one of the
most impressive sanitation initiatives this year: The World’s Longest Toilet
Queue, organised by WSSCC, End Water Poverty and the Freshwater Action Network on and around
World Water Day, March 22.
80,000 people worldwide took part in a solidarity campaign speaking out against
the 2.6 billion people without access to clean water and safe sanitation. WSSCC
Woman Leader for WASH Maria Mutagamba, Uganda’s Minister of Water, was one of
the “Famous Queuers,” showing her support for the initiative, and numerous queues
were hosted by National Coordinators, WASH coalition members and partners of
WSSCC. Below are just a few short summaries that illustrate the action and
excitement at some of these events.
In Tanzania, 600 children and several
hundred adults participated in a queue in an area adjacent to the road between Tanzania
and Zambia to allow maximum community participation. Participants included
Doricia Mlashani, the WASH representative from the ministry and several local celebrities. The key message
presented was the importance of sanitation for the reduction of disease. The
joint venture was not only a success, but made an incredible impact on the
community and the government.
In Liberia, 1,500 enthusiastic individuals
queued towards a public toilet in Monrovia, Liberia to highlight the 3.1
million people of a total population of 3.5 million who have no access to basic
sanitation facilities. Six local NGOs worked to organise the event, which
included speeches, performances and even a parade!
In the Punjab Province of Pakistan,
several hundred people, including many local school children, formed a queue
holding signs that read “Water is a Symbol of Life” and learned about sanitation
and hygiene issues whilst waiting in front of a toilet. Despite very limited
resources and long hours without electricity, the event was a great success,
attracting both local and national attention.
In Burkina Faso, an amazing 5,000 people
came together in Burkina Faso, forming a huge queue which drew a great deal of attention.
More than 8,000 people also signed a
petition which was later delivered to the government. In Burkina Faso, more
than 9 million people out of a total population of 14 million do not have
access to a toilet.
to thank all of the people who participated in these events,” said Saskia
Castelein, advocacy officer at WSSCC. “They were important advocates in this
A video about the Queue events is online. You
can access it and other information at www.worldtoiletqueue.org.