How clean water is a gendered issue

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Rhianna Ilube is Support Officer for the International Youth Engagement Unit at Restless Development UK. To mark World Water Day 2016, she writes on the connections between clean water, freedom and gender equality.

The impact of climate change on Uganda

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Margaret Balikagala is the Youth Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Programme Coordinator for Restless Development in Uganda. In this post for the #CoolerPlanet series, she looks at the various impacts climate change has on Uganda.

Increase in average temperatures, change in rainfall patterns and total annual rainfall amounts are the most critical climate change issues in Uganda. The implications for the Ugandan people are significant, with a change in temperature having an effect on water resources, food security, natural resource management, human health, housing and infrastructure. Meanwhile the rain causes flooding, which  affects transportation, housing, social services and people’s livelihoods.

How toilets can transform the future

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WaterAid supporter George Rosenfeld is one of 15 UK 15-year-olds who launched the action/2015 movement to end extreme poverty.

“How can we make sure decision-makers don’t just talk about ‘popular’ development issues and ignore equally important issues that aren’t as nice to talk about, such as toilets?” This is the question I posed to Ed Miliband and Shadow International Development Secretary Mary Creagh when I met them at the action/2015 launch in January.

So why do I feel so strongly about such an unpopular topic? It’s simple really – along with clean water and good hygiene, toilets save lives. I’ve seen it for myself. In 2013, I visited Zambia with WaterAid.

WASH – What’s it all about??

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It has been a privilege to have been chosen to write on an issue I feel particularly passionate about. Initially I became interested in WaterAid due to its amazing work on all matters of water. However upon joining, I realised that their work delves much deeper into the causes of global poverty. Especially as there has been a great shift in the development world towards exploring water related issues further by understanding WASH – which stands for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.

Setting up a local WaterAid group in West Essex enabled me to contribute to the great cause of improving the accessibility of water resources worldwide, but it also allowed me to grasp a greater