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09 Aug 2018

Can 'twinning' your office toilet help reduce poverty in Africa? This charity thinks so

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Toilet Twinning enables UK people to sponsor toilets in less developed countries where they are most needed. Property specialist The ThirdWay Group is leading the way by encouraging its clients to 'twin up'

Up to a third of people around the world have no access to clean and safe toilets, according to official figures. These poor sanitary conditions can spread disease and even lead to death, with women and children in the developing world most at risk. The problem is so acute that it’s estimated that half of the world population has had an illness caused by poor sanitation.BishwoA twinned toilet in Bishwo

Now a new charity is pairing property developers in the UK to communities in need across the world, in an effort to boost the building of toilets with clean water and proper sanitation. Toilet Twinning works by linking up any UK toilet with a community in need of a loo. It’s effectively a sponsorship: your bathroom funds its twin somewhere in the developing world.

“In the UK, we like a bit of toilet humour which is perhaps why people find our campaign quirky and appealing,” Toilet Twinning’s CEO, Lorraine Kingsley. “But it’s sobering to think that a third of the world’s population lacks something as basic as a loo. Without that, people fall ill, can’t work, can’t earn, and women and girls are especially vulnerable to attack. Having a toilet enables a family to take a first big step out of poverty."

TWINNED MYANMARAnother twinned toilet in Myanmar

For £60, any toilet can be twinned with another toilet that needs some TLC. It’s so simple that the idea is taking. Recently property specialist The ThirdWay Group joined forces with the Toilet Twinning to promote the scheme to all its building clients.

It's new charity arm, the ThirdWay Trust has already ‘twinned’ its own staff toilets and kickstarted the campaign by funding twinned toilets for 50 of their most recent clients. All clients are now being encouraged to support the campaign. So far this year 166 toilets have been twinned and ThirdWay’s aim is to reach a total of 500 twinned toilets by the end of the year.

TWINNED UgandaThis toilet in Uganda is twinned with one of The ThirdWay Group's staff toilets

The funds raised support the construction of household toilets, as well as helping to provide clean water and hygiene education in often remote and hard-to-reach communities in Africa, Asia and Central America. Toilet Twinning invites people to ‘twin’ their toilets at home or work with a latrine overseas – and in doing so sponsor the build of a toilet in one of the world’s poorest communities. Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Malawi are just a few examples of where the charity has enabled and equipped people to find solutions to the issues that keep them trapped in poverty.

 

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