Holiday park helps flush away poverty

PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 June 2010 | UPDATED: 09:47 01 August 2010

A HOLIDAY park and marina is helping to flush away poverty by twinning its new environmentally friendly shower and toilet block with a latrine in the African bush.

A HOLIDAY park and marina is helping to flush away poverty by twinning its new environmentally friendly shower and toilet block with a latrine in the African bush.

The Waveney River Centre, at Burgh St Peter, is the first holiday park in Britain to become a toilet twinner as part of a worldwide campaign by the UK charity CORD to highlight the lack of sanitation across the globe.

Directors Ruth and James Knight have twinned a toilet in a new deluxe washroom block with a twin latrine in the remote Giharo Province, Burundi.

Toilet twinning is seen as a potty idea with a deadly serious message. According to the UN 2.6 billion people, or 40pc of the world population, do not have access to a toilet - and a child dies every 17 seconds from diarrhoeal diseases.

Mr and Mrs Knight are working to make the Waveney River Centre as environmentally friendly as possible and have recently installed new deluxe shower and toilet facilities which have under-floor heating, a 'green' water heating system, hand and hair dryers and seats.

It was during a visit to the Boat and Caravan Show at Birmingham's NEC that Mrs Knight came across the CORD charity and it cost just £60 to twin the toilets.

“There was a lady there from the charity and I thought it was a fantastic idea,” she said. “I thought it would be good to put something back.

“The new facilities are so popular that one family even cancelled their summer camping holiday in Devon to re-book at Waveney, purely on the strength of the showers.

“That's why we are delighted to twin our state-of-the-art facilities with a latrine for a family in Burundi; it's a real reminder of how fortunate we are here in the UK and how essential basic toilets are.”

Mr Knight added: “It is very easy to take things like this for granted, but we have to remind ourselves that some people haven't got a toilet. As well as spending the money here, we thought we would like to help others.”

The pair chose one of their family washrooms to twin with the toilet in Africa and a certificate hangs in the facilities.

Visitors will be able to track down their twin via its map references and spot it on Google earth.

Toilet twinning has so far attracted twinners from 12 countries and is endorsed by CORD ambassador singer Corinne Bailey Rae.

Waveney River Centre won the coveted David Bellamy gold conservation award in 2009 and was a finalist for the EDP sustainable tourism award.

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