Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

The World Walks for Water and Sanitation 2013

18 December 2012

Join thousands of campaigners walking to demand political leaders keep their promises on sanitation and water this World Water Day!

We are calling on you to become part of a global movement for change taking place on and around World Water Day 2013 by joining this year’s World Walks for Water and Sanitation! From 16 to 24 March thousands of people around the world will walk together to call on their political leaders to keep the promises they have made to end the sanitation and water crisis, and we want you to join them!

This crisis means that 2.5 billion people still live without a safe toilet and 783 million people remain without access to clean water. Poor sanitation and unsafe drinking water mean children miss school and 2,000 die needlessly every day from disease caused by contaminated water.

Earlier this year, over 380,000 people, including many FAN members, in more than 70 countries from Nigeria to Nepal took part in the World Walks for Water and Sanitation to demand political leaders take action to improve access to safe sanitation and clean water. They asked their Development and Finance Ministers to attend the crucial Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting in Washington DC and to come ready to commit to real action to tackle the global water and sanitation crisis. This resulted in big success, with an unprecedented number of Ministers from 40 countries attending the meeting and making strong commitments including to allocate at least US$35m to water and sanitation annually and eradicate open defecation by 2015 in Burkina Faso and the Netherlands committing to scale up its assistance to reach 25 million more people with clean water and sanitation globally over the next four years.

Decision makers have made promises locally, nationally, regionally and globally to get clean water and safe sanitation to the world’s poorest countries and communities. We welcome this progress but too many promises remain off track or unfulfilled, so this year it’s up to you to hold your leaders to account on the promises they have made. You can do this by joining the World Walks for Water and Sanitation 2013, which this year is part of the year long Keep Your Promises Campaign. However big or small your walk you can take the opportunity to ask your leaders about progress on their commitments and to demand action to ensure they keep their promises and improve access to clean water and sanitation.


How you can get involved


We want as many people as possible to walk in solidarity with the women and children forced to walk long distances each day just to collect water and find somewhere to go to the toilet – and to tell governments to change this my keeping their promises on sanitation and water! We’re asking you to either organise or join a Walk for Water and Sanitation between 16 to 24 March 2013. You can get involved no matter who you are, whether you’re a university, school, youth group, NGO, Civil Society Organisation or a company. Your walk can be long or short and take place anywhere with any amount of people!

Make it fun and exciting by dressing up as taps and toilets, singing and dancing and inviting celebrities but don’t forget to make it political! The campaign demand you focus on is up to you - invite politicians along, walk to their offices or present a petition to decision makers to put pressure on them to stick to their commitments and take action to end the water and sanitation crisis.   

To find out more about how you can get started and organise your Walk for Water and Sanitation, take a look at the brand new campaign toolkit (PDF 1.1Mb). It’s packed full of information, ideas and tips for how to make your walk a success and have the biggest political impact possible.

The new website will also be launched soon where you will be able to register your walk and access more resources on how to make your walk a big success. Until then visit the Keep Your Promises website for information on promises made by political leaders.