The Great British Stink - Wednesday 15 July

MPs and Peers joined us outside Parliament to travel back in time and experience the sights, sounds and smells of Victorian London, just before London’s first modern sewerage system opened in 1865.

On Wednesday 15 July, we recreated a Victorian London street scene outside Parliament, to mark 150 years since the famous Victorian sewage system, designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette, was completed in 1865.

The event formed part of our Big History Project, celebrating the positive impact that the sanitary revolution had on public health in the UK and launched our Another Great Stink report.

The first modern sewerage system opened in 1865

The sewerage system helped prevent cholera outbreaks in London. The disease had had a devastating impact across the country since its arrival in 1831, similar to the effect of Ebola in West Africa today. We know that - thanks to decisive political commitment - life in the UK was transformed through universal access to sanitation.

The crisis elsewhere today is just as urgent as it was then. Diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation is the second biggest killer of under-fives worldwide, claiming the lives of 1,400 children every single day.

This year, we have a unique chance to right this wrong as world leaders agree a new poverty-eradication framework for the next 15 years in September. We know it’s possible to get safe water, sanitation and hygiene to everyone, everywhere by 2030.

Download your copy of our Another Great Stink report.

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