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Open day at Treatment Plant to benefit Ethiopia

Press release
28 October 2003

Open day at Wastewater Treatment Plant to benefit Ethiopian slums

An open day at the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant on Sunday will give the public a rare view into what happens after they pull a plug or press flush, while raising funds for one of the poorest urban communities in the world.

The treatment plant on Shuttle Drive, off Pages Road, will open for guided tours from 10am to 4pm Sunday, November 2, costing $2 per visitor or $5 per family.

All proceeds go to the New Zealand-based charity Oxfam Water for Survival Programme project in the slum areas of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.

A display of the slum project mounted at the treatment plant aims to highlight contrasts between the two cities. In Christchurch, over 320,000 people are supplied with clean, good-tasting water for drinking, washing and gardens. Polluted water is whisked away by 80 pump stations processing some 163,000 cubic metres of wastewater each day.

In the urban slum areas of Addis Ababa, fewer than one quarter of the 2.2 million population have access to safe drinking water and even fewer have adequate sanitation. Because there is poor drainage for liquid waste, the streets become waterlogged in the rainy season and when dry, people must queue for hours for water.

Oxfam Water for Survival hope to raise about $108,000 for the Ethiopian project through donations and fundraising events like the open day. More details are available on website www.oxfam.org.nz/Water

ENDS

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