Step back in time promotes WaterAid campaign
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