Long, long queue for a giant toilet

14th of October 2011
Long, long queue for a giant toilet

Hundreds of people in Australia recently converged on Canberra's Parliament House to join a symbolic queue for an over-sized lavatory.

The event was staged to highlight the fact that 2.6 billion people around the world are still waiting to gain access to a toilet.

Joining the giant loo queue were MPs, students, aid workers, plumbers and church leaders all keen to raise awareness of the issue of poor sanitation in other parts of the world.

According to national co-ordinator John Beckett the link between access to sanitation and global deaths is clear - and he claims that better sanitation could help prevent around a quarter of the 8.1 million annual child deaths. "That's two million kids who could be saved," he said. "Lack of access to a toilet is not only enormously dehumanising, it's literally a matter of life and death. No-one should be dying for a dunny."

The giant queue was staged as part of Voices for Justice, Australia's annual Micah Challenge lobbying event which involves hundreds of private citizens holding meetings with politicians in a bid to ensure that global poverty stays on the political agenda.

The group is calling on the government to increase its aid allocation for water and sanitation to $500 million by 2015.




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