"We want to highlight the staggering reality that one-third of our planet, an estimated 2.5 billion people, do not have access to an adequate toilet," said National Coordinator of Micah Challenge in Australia, John Beckett.
Diarrhoea currently kills more children every year than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Approximately 3,000 children every day die from diseases related to water and sanitation.
The World Health Organisation estimates that by addressing WASH we could prevent 28% of all child deaths. That means we could save 2 million children's lives each year.
On current rates of progress, the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target to halve the number of people without access to adequate sanitation will not be reached until 2026. By contrast the target for access to clean water was reached in 2010, five years ahead of schedule.
"Rates of progress on sanitation are simply not acceptable when we have both the knowledge and the means to change this situation," said Mr. Beckett. "We take toilets and clean water for granted but so many in our world don't have that luxury. Every human being is made in the image of God, with inherent dignity. In 2012, no child should miss out on school, get sick, or even die because of lack of access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene. We all have a part to play in fixing this tragic situation."
Micah Challenge is calling on the Australian Government to increase its contribution to fixing the global WaSH crisis to $500M per year by 2015. This could provide an extra 8.8 million people with access to WaSH.
The Give Poverty the Flush campaign encourages churches, schools and community groups to run community events with fun and creative action ideas to help communicate this important message to our nation's political leaders. One of the highlights of the campaign is the 2 metre tall Giant Toilet that will be touring the country.
Micah Challenge has all the resources you need to take action. Visit www.micahchallenge.org.au/give-poverty-the-flush for information, resources and to register your Give Poverty the Flush event.