Stormont now boasts twinned toilets

MLAs from the All-Party Group for International Development, along with representatives from the Coalition of Aid and Development Agencies in Northern Ireland, marked the official twinning of two toilets at Stormont Assembly with two latrines in Uganda.

The event took place shortly after the United Nations World Toilet Day on 19 November.

The ‘Spend a penny’ fundraising initiative encouraged MLAs to donate towards the cost of twinning two of the main toilets in the Great Hall at the Stormont Buildings.

Chair of the All-Party Group, Claire Hanna MLA, said, ‘In Northern Ireland we often take the availability of toilets for granted; however in many parts of the world a lack of adequate water and sanitation leads to disease and can prevent girls, in particular, from accessing education. By twinning these toilets today we hope to remind MLAs and visitors to the building of the need to support those most in need around the world.’

David Thomas, Chair of CADA, said, ‘Our members work in some of the poorest communities in the world providing, amongst other things, clean drinking water, toilets and training in hygiene and disease prevention. It is great that this work is being recognised by our local politicians and the certificates displayed in the toilets at Stormont will serve as a reminder of the difference it makes to have access to decent water and sanitation facilities.’

Susan Bennett, Toilet Twinning Fundraising Manager, Northern Ireland, said, ‘One in three people worldwide don’t have a toilet. By providing hygienic toilets we are able to prevent the spread of disease as well as bring dignity and safety to women and girls who no longer have to walk to the edge of their community late at night.’

CADA is a network of those agencies working on International Development or Development Education, which are based in Northern Ireland. There are currently 23 members, including: Christian Aid, Centre for Global Education, Concern Disability Aid Abroad, Habitat for Humanity NI, Oxfam Ireland, Tearfund, Tools for Solidarity, Trócaire, Save the Children and War on Want NI.