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Twinning campaign launched to provide toilets to world’s poorest communities

Published on Monday, November 18, 2019

A family in a developing country

A CAMPAIGN aimed at helping ensure communities in developing countries have access to safe, clean toilets is being launched with the help of Leicester’s Lord Mayor this week.

Women’s voluntary organisation Soroptimist International Leicester are launching the Leicester Toilet Twinning Project, to help fund sanitation projects in poor communities across the world.

Figures show that one in three people worldwide – about 2.3billion people – do not have access to basic, hygienic toilet facilities, with almost 900 children a day dying from diseases linked to dirty water and unsafe toilets.

In particular, girls and women are particularly at risk from the lack of proper sanitary facilities.

Campaigners in Leicester want to twin 30 toilets across the city with communities in developing countries in order to fund the building of toilet facilities.

The campaign supports the work of UK organisation Toilet Twinning, which for a donation of £60 enable families to build a basic toilet, have access to clean water and learn about hygiene – a combination that saves.

Lord Mayor Cllr Byrne will be launching the appeal in Leicester on Tuesday, November 19 – World Toilet Day – at the Town Hall, from 2pm to 2.30pm, along with two representatives from the Toilet Twinning charity, one of which is a retired senior lecturer in water and sanitation for low-income countries at Loughborough University’s Water Engineering and Development Centre.

Cllr Byrne said: “I am very pleased to be asked by Soroptimist International Leicester to support the vital work of Toilet Twinning in helping ensure people have access to the basic level of facilities that we take for granted.

“Unfortunately, the lack of proper toilets and clean water creates a vicious cycle in which people fall ill through sanitation-related diseases, meaning they can’t work or farm their land, children miss school and parents have to buy medicines or food, pushing them further into debt.

“Women are particularly badly affected by lack of toilet facilities, and reducing the impact on them is one of the key goals of this campaign.

“I hope communities, companies and organisations across Leicester will support this project, so that the donations made can fund sanitation projects in communities across the world.”

Michael Smith, retired senior lecturer in water and sanitation for low income countries at WEDC, Loughborough University, and now a volunteer for the Toilet Twinning charity, added: “In this country we are fortunate to have good toilets in our homes.

“Toilet Twinning is a charity helping to provide funds for people in some of the poorest nations to have clean water, a good toilet and to learn about hygiene.  

“Having a toilet provides many benefits for families, including greater convenience, better personal safety, and improved health, especially for those most vulnerable to illness.

“Leicester Soroptimists have been passionate in their support for Toilet Twinning, and many will benefit from their fundraising.”

To get involved in the project, contact Soroptimist International Leicester here

More information on Toilet Twinning is available on