On Global Handwashing Day, Featherstone launches scheme to give 4 million access to clean water in Democratic Republic of Congo

Lynne FeatherstoneIt’s easy to take our access to clean, safe water for granted. Whether it’s water to brush our teeth, drink or wash our hands after we’ve been to the toilet, free availability saves lives.

If you live in sub-Saharan Africa, on average, only 60% of people, not much over half, have access to safe water supplies. In the Democratic Republic of Congo the average is 46%, but in rural areas can be as little as 20%. It’s hardly surprising they’ve recently had a major Cholera epidemic to deal with. This UNICEF article shows how a water sanitation programme can make a difference.

The DRC clearly has an urgent need and yesterday, on Global Handwashing Day, Lynne Featherstone announced a 7 year programme of partnership with NGOs to improve sanitation and hygiene for over 3 million people.  She said:

Health is the very foundation of development, and access to safe water and sanitation is a basic human right and the cornerstone of good health.

Too few people in the Democratic Republic of Congo have access to the water, sanitation and hygiene they need, which is why we are launching this ambitious and innovative programme.

Working with our partners in the field, Britain is taking the lead in improving the lives of the very poorest and alleviating poverty around the world.

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