You’ve heard of twin towns – now York has twin toilets
Two loos separated by thousands of miles will be linked forever after today.
One of the toilets is in York Minster, the other in Africa. And they are now twinned thanks to a donation of £60 by York Central MP Rachael Maskell.
Rachael responded to an invitation from the Minster’s LESS group (Lifestyle, Environment, Sustainability, Stewardship), to get involved with Toilet Twinning fundraising campaign.
The innovative idea is to raise funds to provide basic loo facilities in some of the world’s poorest countries.
More than 2.4 billion people – more than a third of the people living on the planet – do not have access to something that most of us take for granted: somewhere clean, hygienic and safe to go to the loo.
Change people’s lives
A gift £60 provides the materials and skills for a family to build a simple, clean and hygienic loo.
It also provides communities with information about vital hygiene measures such as cleaning and hand washing that can help combat the spread of disease.
Rachael’s donation brings the number of twinned loos at the Minster to eight. So far the Minster has sponsored loos in several countries including Burundi, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Uganda and Ethiopia.
Having a safe place to go to the loo and adequate sanitation can improve health care, education, and gender equality, empowering women and girls, who often have to walk, sometimes for hours in unsafe conditions, to collect clean water.
David Rees of the Minster’s LESS Group said they aim to twin all 21 loos in the Minster.
“Each twinned toilet will have its own certificate with a photograph and GPS coordinates for the location of its twin making it easy to pinpoint the community that will benefit from each donation,” he said.
“We hope more people will get involved with this practical and innovative campaign.”