News | Student takes on Government

A Leeds student is putting pressure on the government to provide clean drinking water for 60 million people.

The campaign called ‘Put Thirst First’ (PTF) was launched by Bethany Milburn, who went to Parliament on Thursday, October 31 to present the petition to Lynne Featherstone, the Under Secretary for International Development.

The petition has managed to gather 1,643 signatures using social media and a stall in the Union for two days.

Miss Milburn said: “we were blown away as pretty much everyone we asked signed!”

She added: “The original plan was to get 800 signatures, then take it to Leeds MP we collected 800 signatures.”

The petition calls on the UK government to stick to its promise to provide drinking water to 60 million people by 2015.

The promise was made in April 2012 and became one of The Department for International Development’s key pledges. DFID is currently spending 1.6 per cent of its total budget on water and sanitation. 11 per cent of humanity are forced to drink dirty water

The petition started to combat the “obvious injustice that 11 per cent of humanity are
forced to drink dirty water”.

The campaign involved photos of people holding up speech bubbles saying ‘I PTF because’ to increase public awareness.

Beth Milburn said: “DFID have to take this seriously. Although it’s not loads of people, it is still voices holding them accountable to their promises.”

Maddy Keating

Photo: Beth Milburn

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