Step back in time pro­motes WaterAid cam­paign

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

Mar­garet Ferrier MP stepped back in time last week to mark 150 years of Bri­tain’s mod­ern sew­ers.

The mem­ber for Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West was one of more than 100 MPs to take a walk down WaterAid’s Vic­to­rian Lon­don Street.

She was able to ex­pe­ri­ence the sights and sounds of an era when open sewage ran through the roads and rivers.

There to greet her were char­ac­ters from the era to ex­plain what life was like dur­ing the Great Stink of 1858 to high­light WaterAid’s call for the UK Gov­ern­ment to lead the way in end­ing the global wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion cri­sis.

She also met some of the 115,056 sup­port­ers who signed the char­ity’s ‘Make It Hap­pen’ pe­ti­tion, who came from across the coun­try to dis­cuss the im­por­tance of en­sur­ing ev­ery­one ev­ery­where has clean wa­ter to drink and some­where safe to go to the toi­let.

Ms Ferrier said: “It has been an eye-open­ing day, see­ing what life was like in Vic­to­rian Bri­tain when peo­ple lacked ac­cess to safe wa­ter and there was no de­cent sew­er­age sys­tem.

“In­vest­ment in wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion had a huge im­pact on our health and de­vel­op­ment, and that these are key to achiev­ing a health­ier and more pros­per­ous world.

“As we de­velop the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals for ad­dress­ing global de­vel­op­ment, it is clear that wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion must play a cen­tral role.”

Bri­tain’s first life-sav­ing sew­er­age sys­tem was cre­ated fol­low­ing the ‘Great Stink’, when the stench of the pol­luted Thames was so un­bear­able, it sent MPs run­ning from the House of Com­mons clutch­ing hand­ker­chiefs to their faces and spurring them into ac­tion to clean up the city.

The open­ing of the first mod­ern sewage pump­ing sta­tion in 150 years ago, de­signed by Sir Joseph Bazal­gette, helped pre­vent cholera out­breaks in Lon­don.

Wa­ter change Hamil­ton West MP Mar­garet Ferrier stepped back in time last week to take a walk down WaterAid’s Vic­to­rian Lon­don street

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