Footballer Jonathan Pitroipa in Burkina Faso. Photo: WASH United
Hamburger SV football player Jonathan Pitroipa played the “World Toilet Cup” game in his home country of Burkina Faso where he launched the WASH United campaign on 4 June 2010. First introduced in November 2009 during the second Africa Water Week in Johannesburg, South Africa, the “World Toilet Cup” game makes a symbolic effort at tackling the sanitation crisis in Africa by trying to kick as many brown “poo balls” as possible into latrines and toilets.
WASH United is an initiative set up by German NGO Brot für die Welt linking international organisations with football stars like Didier Drogba and Arjen Robben to promote safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. In the campaign, leading up to the 2010 World Cup, WASH United focuses on promoting safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for all in eight countries in Sub-Saharan Africa: Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Mali, Lesotho, Uganda and Tanzania.
In addition to activities in the WASH United target countries, there are also targeted activities taking place in Europe to raise awareness for the importance of water and sanitation among the general public and political decision makers.
Besides WASH related games like the “World Toilet Cup”, WASH United has developed promotional posters and Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for radio and TV. There are briefing papers for each target country aimed at decision makers, and there is a curriculum (consisting both of classroom materials and football-based games) that uses the power of football and the role model status of the football stars.
WASH United’s international partners include not only sector organisations like WaterAid, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the World Toilet Organizations but also football clubs like FC Bayern München (strategic partner), Hamburger SV and Juventus Turin. WASH United is financially supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
To join WASH United, either as an individual or an organisation go to www.wash-united.org