Dundee celebrates special award with Malawi twinning launch

International relief and development charity initiative Toilet Twinning has launched Malawi Toilet Twinning.

Toilet Twinning encourages people in the UK to give a £60 donation to ‘twin’ their toilet with a latrine in a developing country. Individual donors receive a Toilet Twinning certificate that shows the toilet they are twinned with, along with its GPS coordinates so they can see their twin on Google maps.

In Malawi, Toilet Twinning is funding a project run by Tearfund UK, which also receives Scottish Government funding, to provide thousands of households in Salima, Balaka and Mchinji districts with clean water, the know-how to build a toilet, and hygiene education.

The first Malawi Toilet Twinning certificate was presented to the ‘cuddies’ of the RRS Discovery in Dundee at a ceremony with the Lord Provost Bob Duncan, local MP Chris Law and Toilet Twinning’s specialist relationship manager Lesley Quirk.

Dundee is also celebrating the launch of Malawi twinning in conjunction with its achievement of Toilet Twinned City status.

Lesley Quirk (left) & Dundee Soroptimists present the Lord Provost with the city's award

Lesley Quirk (left) & Dundee Soroptimists present the Lord Provost with the city’s award

Soroptimists International Dundee have galvanised Dundonians across the city to twin the toilets at home, school and work – and in total, more than 80 Toilet Twinning certificates are being hung with pride in toilets in Dundee – and more than £7,000 has been donated to Toilet Twinning’s international work. This has won Dundee the accolade of being Scotland’s first Toilet Twinned City.

Elaine Ferrie (above, second left), Programme Action Officer for Soroptimist International Dundee, said, ‘This wonderful achievement for the City of Dundee was only possible through the generosity of Dundonians and their willingness to become involved in making a difference for others less fortunate.  This is an amazing sum of money to raise in only six months and will provide untold opportunities for many families in the developing world.’

Mark Munsie, Operations Director for Dundee Heritage Trust, said, ‘We are delighted to receive the first Malawi toilet twin in Scotland and hopefully this will raise more awareness and increase funding support for this vitally important project.’

Mark Munsie of Dundee Heritage Trust receives Scotland's first Malawi twin

Mark Munsie of Dundee Heritage Trust receives Scotland’s first Malawi twin

Almost 2.4 billion people around the globe do not have safe, clean and private facilities. Every minute, a child under the age of five dies because of dirty water and poor sanitation.

Toilet Twinning CEO Lorraine Kingsley said, ‘Whenever I meet people living in poverty, I am struck by their courage, resilience and immense gratitude at finally having a toilet. When adults can work their land, and children can go to school because of improved health linked to sanitation, communities have the hope of overcoming generational poverty.

‘We’re delighted to have launched Malawi Toilet Twinning across Scotland. We hope to celebrate twinnings in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and so forth in the coming weeks and months.’