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Water crisis in the spotlight

LEONGATHA pooled its spare change to raise money for Water Aid last week.

The initiative was led by Leongatha’s Johanna Haasjes, who worked to raise awareness about poverty stricken countries at IGA and Safeway.

She also put up a display of toilets in the window of New Beginnings, which were decorated by Yooralla, the Men’s Shed, the Mirboo North scouts and various families.

This culminated in a garage sale held at her Trease Street home on the United Nations’ World Toilet Day (November 19).

“I think this is very important. As a former teacher, I think education about the poverty in the world is crucial,” Ms Haajes said.

“So many of the world’s water, sanitation and hygiene issues are related to poverty. This is a very worthwhile cause.”

All the proceeds from the week were donated to Water Aid, which will work towards improved sanitation, hygiene and access to clean drinking water around the world.

According to Water Aid, 38 per cent of global health centres don’t have clean water, 19 per cent do not have improved sanitation, and 35 per cent have no water or soap for hand washing.

This then affects health, and 840,000 people die from diseases related to lack of water and sanitation each year in the developing world.

Water Aid has been operating since 2004 to improve important facilities in developing communities.

Water Aid works closely with disabled people, young people, elderly and women to ensure all needs are met.

By 2030, Water Aid aims to have delivered basic services to poverty stricken countries and to have eradicated extreme poverty.

Ms Haasjes is a dedicated and passionate campaigner for Water Aid and had promoted World Toilet Day in Leongatha for years.

“Water Aid is totally dedicated to its goal of transforming lives by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in the world’s poorest communities,” she said.

“I think it’s important and worth talking about.”

Important topic: Water Aid campaigner Johanna Haasjes (right) discusses the initiatives of Water Aid with Leongatha resident Pat Spinks.

Important topic: Water Aid campaigner Johanna Haasjes (right) discusses the initiatives of Water Aid with Leongatha resident Pat Spinks.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=20103

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