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Welsh Water encourages pupils to celebrate toilets

Global Citizenship, Environmental Awareness and World Toilet Day are top of the agenda.
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is welcoming 47 pupils from five local schools to its Cilfynydd Education Centre as part of celebrations of World Toilet Day on 19th November, aimed at recognising the importance of sanitation around the world.

Four of Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s ex-teachers will join pupils from Trealaw Primary, Beaufort Hill, Parc Primary, Plasyfelin Primary and Ysgol Y Graig, providing them with a unique learning experience.

Welsh Water work closely with international charity WaterAid and the “eco-event” will help students understand the importance of water and WaterAid’s work in some of the world’s poorest communities.

The pupils will recreate the lifestyle within an isolated Ugandan village and will be taught about the day to day issues normally faced by villagers, including collecting safe drinking water and the dangers of not have proper toilets. They will be challenged to think about the impact of this, examining how they use water in their own lives, and what they may have to sacrifice if they had to walk many miles to fetch water or if they had no access to a toilet.

Mary Watkins, Peripatetic teacher at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, had hands on experience in Rwanda: “When I arrived at my house in Rwanda, where I was to spend a year volunteering with VSO, I was so pleased to see what they call a ‘western toilet’ which was of the typical flushing type. But what I hadn't thought about was the fact that you need a reliable water supply to fill the cistern. I was living in an area that was classed as having a good water network but even so the water went off most days and sometimes could be off for several days or even a week. A flushing toilet is only any good if you have water to flush it! Now I am home I really appreciate my western toilet and its full cistern!”

Huw Phillips, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s education teacher, said: “World toilet Day is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of water and sanitation and help children to develop their understanding of global issues. By inviting Eco-schools to visit we are ensuring the message is spread to as many people as possible. It’s also great to see a number of our ex-teachers returning with their pupils and continuing their link with DCWW.”

Matthew Howells, ex-teacher at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, said: “The eco event provides a great opportunity for a number of schools to come together and share good practice. The activities at the centre also provide the visiting pupils with new knowledge which they can take back to their schools and carry out imaginative and informative Eco related projects.”

Matt Bunt, Eco-Schools Wales said: “It’s great for Keep Wales Tidy to be involved in a day focusing on Global Citizenship. It’s important that our Eco-Schools look at the decisions they make in their daily life and understand that those decisions impact on people and wildlife throughout the world”.

Welsh Water's Environmental Education centres provide year round activities free of charge. All lessons fully integrate the new skills curriculum through a ‘hands on’ practical approach to thinking and learning.

Welsh Water delivers vital messages to inform, develop and promote a greater understanding of current issues relating to Education for Sustainable Development through the outdoor teaching and learning opportunities offered at its centres.

Welsh Water is investing heavily and working hard to ensure top quality services to all the communities it serves. The company is investing £1.5 billion in its water and sewerage network between 2010 and 2015.

It is a ‘not-for-profit company’ which has been owned by Glas Cymru since 2001. Welsh Water does not have shareholders, and any financial surpluses are reinvested in the business for the benefit of customers.

For more information about World Toilet Day and the work of WaterAid, visit http://www.wateraid.org/uk/get-involved/world-toilet-day-2014