WaterAid has today launched a fundraising appeal with a target of £1m to provide safe water and sanitation for 130,000 girls around the world.
As part of the To be a girl appeal, the international development charity has unveiled a series of adverts on 3,000 buses throughout the UK to highlight the problems faced by the millions of girls living without access to safe water and somewhere to go to the toilet.
The bus campaign will be seen by 37m people over the next two weeks, the charity said.
WaterAid has a set a target of £1m for the appeal. But it has the potential to raise considerably more as the UK government is match funding all donations from the UK public up to a maximum value of £5m.
The charity has also launched an interactive online hub as part of the appeal featuring stories from girls around the world, including Madagascar, India, Uganda, Nepal and Burkina Faso.
Barbara Frost, chief executive of WaterAid, said: “Access to clean water and safe toilets allows girls to be healthy, to attend school, to play with their friends – to be a girl. Girls are no longer forced to spend hours every day collecting water, they are no longer forced to go to the toilet in the open, vulnerable to attack. Access to these basic services gives girls the independence to choose their future and a chance to develop their community.”
Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, said: “Every two minutes a girl dies because she does not have clean water or proper sanitation. Millions more have to put the daily trek to the nearest well above going to school, ruining their chances of an education.
“By matching all public donations to WaterAid’s To be a girl appeal we will help improve health and sanitation for 130,000 girls around the world, helping them to get an education and giving them hope for a better future.”