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Unsafe water protest goes before parliament

Thousands of baby bottles have been placed in front of the Swiss parliament building in Bern to raise awareness of unsafe drinking water in poor nations.

In an event to mark World Water Day on Monday, the 4,000 bottles were filled with discoloured water to symbolise the 4,000 children estimated to die across the globe each day due to unsafe drinking water.

Organisers said they wanted to raise their concerns about the issue among politicians in particular.

“We are calling on the cabinet to act within the United Nations to ensure access to drinking water is recognised as a human right. We also want Switzerland to allocate more money for drinking water projects around the world,” said Matthias Herfeldt, spokesman for the Helvetas development organisation.

Helvetas launched a special campaign for donations that aims to provide one million people in developing countries with access to safe drinking water by 2013. Last year the organisation collected SFr15.7 million ($14.75 million) in donations and for the past 40 years has been active in 18 countries.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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