Politicians, keep your promises!

By Jennifer Williams, End Water Poverty

By improving water and sanitation practices and knowledge, local and national governments can save children's lives.

Child Health Now is proud of its association with End Water Poverty, a global civil society coalition campaigning to end the water and sanitation crisis. On World Toilet Day, the coalition will launch a new initiative aimed at leaders and decision makers, Keep Your Promises. Guest blogger Jennifer Williams explains how it works.

It’s a pretty important date in End Water Poverty’s calendar next Monday – World Toilet Day! It’s also the day that we will be launching our new global campaign, Keep Your Promises. The message of the campaign is simple – we want politicians everywhere to keep the commitments they have made to get safe sanitation and drinking water to the world’s poorest countries and communities.

Politicians have made commitments locally, nationally, regionally and globally to tackle the sanitation and water crisis – we welcome these promises but words alone are not enough. We want to see these promises kept and these words turned into action. Thousands of people have already signed our petition and we’d like you to add your voice too and tell politicians that you won’t accept empty promises.

Marking the launch of the campaign, thousands of campaigners across the globe will be writing to, delivering petitions or meeting with their politicians on World Toilet Day to tell them that their promises must be kept to bring an end to the sanitation and water crisis that kills around 2,000 children under the age of five every day.


'By improving water and sanitation practices and knowledge, local and national governments can save children's lives'.

That’s why we were excited to discover that World Toilet Day also comes within the Global Week of Action for the Child Health Now campaign - lack of safe sanitation and water severely impacts on children’s health and it’s unacceptable that preventable water-related diseases are the second biggest killer of children under five in the world. The Child Health Now campaign is calling for an end to the 6.9 million under five child deaths that happen every year – and tackling the sanitation and water crisis is clearly crucial to this. Health is not a stand-alone issue and it won’t be possible for all children to Survive 5 if they continue to contract preventable diseases because they don’t have clean drinking water and toilets.

Child Health Now are pushing governments for action to fulfill the many promises they’ve made to reduce the number of child deaths, including the MDG commitment to reduce the child mortality date by two thirds by 2015.  With child deaths not falling quickly enough to reach this target within the next three years, now’s a crucial time to call on world leaders to take action to Keep their Promises.

So, we’re delighted that Keep Your Promises campaigners across Africa, Asia and Latin America are starting to link up with Child Health Now activists and looking into how they can work together towards these common goals. World Toilet Day will be a key date in the Global Week of Action and, together, we can raise our voices and call for change. No more empty promises.