Former Manchester United striker and UNICEF Norway Goodwill Ambassador Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has this week been visiting Angola to witness and lend his support to the educational reconstruction work being undertaken in the southern African country. His trip took him to Bengo province in the north of the country to a couple of schools hoping to install sanitation and water systems for the first time.
The next day the footballer visited schools in the capital, Luanda where he saw the practical benefits that simple sanitation can make to improve health and save lives by preventing waterborne diseases.
The UN General Assembly has designated 2008 the Year of Sanitation in an attempt to increase the pace towards the UN Millennium Goal of halving the number of people worldwide who do not have access to a clean and safe toilet. At present, the total number is 2.6 billion - nearly half of the world's population.
Awkwardness and a reluctance to talk about sanitation is one factor contributing to low funding for this area of development. As the film Liquid Gold shows, however, changes made in this area can result in dramatic improvements in local communities.
Photo copyright UNICEF 2008.
If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.