Tearfund Leads Fight Against Global Sanitation Crisis

Christian relief and development agency Tearfund has renewed its call on the UK Government to take the lead in tackling the global sanitation crisis in the wake of the report from the select committee on international development critiquing the Government's record on water and sanitation.

Laura Webster, Senior Policy Adviser at Tearfund, gave evidence to the select committee. She said, "We welcome this report and join select committee members in their call for urgent attention to be given to the hidden emergency which is the global sanitation crisis.

"We also agree that money alone will not solve the problem for the 2.6 billion who currently lack access to adequate sanitation and the 1.1. billion people without clean water. What is needed is a global action plan which galvanises political commitment at the highest level."

At least 4,500 children die each day from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation facilities. At the same time, the effects of extreme and unusual weather in developing nations make water one of the most precious resources.

World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to the eradication of extreme poverty, is meanwhile answering the call to provide potable water sources to countries such as Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali and Niger.

The charity recently held its Global Water Initiative Conference in Stamford, Connecticut, in the USA, between 20 and 21 April.

"The West African Water Initiative has brought clean water to over 260,000 people in Mali, Niger and Ghana since it began three years ago, with the help of the Hilton Foundation" said Rich Stearns, president of World Vision US. "This is exciting news to share with our donors as we move forward to continue bringing hope and better health to African communities."

Experts and donors highlighted the progress achieved in these countries and discussed current projects.

In addition, Ethiopian and Ghanaian nationals told their personal stories of living through the water sanitation crisis daily for many years.

In 2006 alone, World Vision dug 195 wells in West Africa, expanding access to clean water to an additional 140,000 people in the region.

For more information, visit www.worldvision.org ; www.tearfund.org