Press Advisory: WaterAid’s New York "walk for water"

10 July 2018
United States, Water, Toilets, Inequality

What is the "walk for water"?: A group of women will bring the daily lives of their peers in developing countries by "walking for water" through the busy streets of New York.

Each woman, representing a country where many people do not have clean water close to home, will carry a yellow bucket that holds 20 litres (just over 5 gallons) which is a typical amount of water carried by women in countries where access to water is an issue. They will walk around 2 miles from the edge of Central Park to the United Nations – a distance that many women around the world walk every day to fill just one bucket or jerrycan with water that is often, even then, not clean.

This walk coincides with ministerial talks at the High Level Political Forum at the United Nations on the current state of progress towards an international commitment to bring safe water and toilets to all by 2030 (Sustainable Development Goal 6). All countries represented on the walk will not, on current projections, be able to provide even a basic source of clean water and decent toilets for their entire populations by that date. 

When: Monday 16th July - 8am start from East 72 Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue. Then continuing down Lexington Avenue until East 47 Street then ending at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, outside the United Nations building by approximately 9am
Photo opportunity: women walking as if on their daily walk for water along the busy streets of New York, creating a juxtaposition between the busy modernity of New York and the basic reality of having to walk for clean water lived by women throughout the developing world.

They will then gather for a photo outside the United Nations building.

Interviews with Sarina Prabasi, Chief Executive Officer, WaterAid America will be available before or after the walk.

We are expecting around 20 walkers to join the procession, representing countries including Bangladesh, Nepal, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and others.

Film and stills of the walk will be available after noon on Monday 16th July, 


For more information, please contact:

For further information please call Fiona Callister, Global Head of Media, WaterAid on +44 7785 725387 or 020 7793 5022 before 12th July and on (001) 917 428 9702 from 12th July onwards.
Or call our after-hours press line on +44 (0)7887 521 552 or email [email protected]

Notes to Editors:


WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to clean water and sanitation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 34 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 25.8 million people with clean water and 25.1 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit, follow @WaterAidUK or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or visit us on Facebook at

  • 844 million people in the world – one in nine – do not have clean water close to home.[1]

  • 2.3 billion people in the world – almost one in three – do not have a decent toilet of their own.[2]

  • Around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's almost 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.[3]

  • Every £1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of £4 in increased productivity.[4]

  • Just £24 can provide one person with clean water.[5]

  • To find out if countries are keeping their promises on water and sanitation, see the online database


[1] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines

[2] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines


[4] World Health organization (2012) Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage