To mark Wold Toilet Day today (Monday), Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell ‘twinned’ his office toilet with one in a remote Malawi village.
Toilet Twinning is a water and sanitation international charitable initiative with the motto “We are flushing away poverty, one toilet at a time.” This is done by means of a one-off donation which twins a toilet at home, work or even in a school with one in a country in the developing world.
The project currently covers 10 countries: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Malawi.
Having visited Malawi in 2012 as Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Education, Michael has kept active links with the country.
He was told by an MSP colleague about the scheme and as a result took the opportunity to personally pay for the twinning of his Scottish Parliament Office toilet on Argyll Street in Dunoon with one in Chatumbra Village in the Rumphi District of Malawi. As part of the scheme a certificate with a picture of the twinned toilet is provided, which now sits in his office.
Commenting, Mr Russell said: “During my ministerial visit to Malawi in 2012, I discovered why it is so rightly known as the “warm heart of Africa”. Malawi is an astonishing country home to incredibly welcoming and kind people.
“However it is also one of the poorest countries on the continent and it faces a huge range of difficulties. Sanitation is a key issue that underlies many of the health and social problems of the country, and Toilet Twinning presents the opportunity to help to change this.
“I would encourage anyone who wants to make a difference to get involved. I would love to see toilets across Argyll twinned with others in many countries and contributing to a better world.”