Gavin Shuker MP guest blogs on World Water Day

ImageNext week I will travel with Tearfund to Zambia to witness firsthand the work Tearfund is doing on the ground to assist communities to access clean water.

As Shadow Minister for Water in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs it’s my job to consider water everyday. On a daily basis I try to hold our UK Government to account to ensure that we have access to safe uncontaminated water at an affordable price.

Tearfund also works everyday to help communities across the globe access better sanitation and clean drinking water, along with many other pursuits such as assisting farmers respond to threats from climate change.

Today, on World Water Day it is important for us all to take a step back and to recognise how lucky we in theUKare to have access to clean drinking water.

Couple this with the upcoming Rio+20 Summit being held in June, we have an incredible platform to raise water sanitation issues onto the global political agenda – and I urge our UK representatives to raise the issue of water infrastructure and sanitation at this forum.

We need an ambitious government that wants to lead the world on sustainable development, eradicating poverty and one that takes water and sanitation seriously.  With this in mind it is imperative that access to water and sanitation remains a priority for UK aid.

I agree with Tearfund, and believe that with a little bit of political ambition, DFID should increase its results in WASH in a way that reflects its equal priority compared with other basic services such as health and education.

I also urge the Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell to make full use of the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership forum when it meets in April.

I look forward to my travels with Tearfund. I am sure I will able to return to Parliament and become a strong ambassador for the work they do every day across the globe.

Gavin Shuker is the Shadow Minister for Water and Waste at DEFRA and Tearfund supporter.  

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