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Cocksworth backs ‘toilet twinners’

21 October 2010

by Ed Beavan

THE Bishop of Coventry, Dr Christopher Cocksworth, has be­come one of the world’s first “toilet twinners”, linking his lava­tories with latrines in Burundi, as part of a scheme to improve sanita­tion in developing countries.

The scheme has been set up by the charities Tearfund and Cord, and Bishop Cocksworth has received a framed photograph and map co-ordinates of the latrines he sponsors in Burundi, which adorns the wall of the lavatories in Bishop’s House, in Coventry (above).

Bishop Cocks­worth said his spon­sorship helped to pay for the construc­tion of three “very basic, primitive latrines” for a house­hold in Bur­undi. “Like all good ideas, it’s ac­tually very simple. The money I paid cov­ered the raw materials to con­struct the toilets, which are basically just a very deep hole in the ground with corru­gated iron roofs.

“It’s a fun idea, but it makes a real difference, as sanitation is absolutely essential for these communities. . . The toilets there are not particularly sophisti­cated or attached to the mains, but are enough to remove waste and reduce the threat of disease. It’s a real lifesaver.”

He commended the scheme to churches across the country to help make a difference.

Dr Cocksworth is a patron of Cord, which is based in Leamington Spa, in Coventry diocese. The charity was formed at St Mary’s, in Coven­try, under the Revd Pat Ashe, and was ini­tially called Project Vietnam Orphans, assisting children affected in the Viet­nam War. It now special­ises in peace-building in post-conflict areas.

It costs £60 to twin with a lavatory in Burundi. For more details, see www.toiletwinning.org

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