My name is Latifah but everyone calls me Teefa for short. I am 10 years old. My mum is from Nigeria and Latifah is an African name meaning 'gentle'. Clothes are really important to me and my friends and we always get the latest fashion.
At school, I get into trouble for talking too much and being bossy. I don't mean to be naughty, but sometimes I get shy and then I talk too much to cover it up.
Baths, Water and World Toilet Day!
Mum got really mad at me last night.
It all started when I ran a bath. I filled the bath full of hot water, almost to the top. Then tried to get in but it was too hot. I had to let some of the water out and run the cold tap until it was cool enough to get in.
The bath was full of bubbles and looked really nice so I climbed in and lay back to read my fashion magazine. I felt really grown-up. After about 5 minutes though my magazine was all soggy and I was cold. I must have put too much cold water in the bath! I got out and unplugged the plug so all the water gurgled down the drain. That’s when my mum came storming up the stairs and started shouting at me.
“Teefa, how many times do I have to tell you? Water costs money and shouldn’t be wasted like that! When I was a little girl growing up in Nigeria, we had to walk miles to get our water. We couldn’t just sit in it and then throw it away!”
Mum was right. She has told me loads of times before:
- 2.5 billion people - one in three of the world’s population - do not have access to a safe, private toilet
- 748 million people in the world don't have access to safe water
- Over 1,400 children a day die from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.
And I just poured 80 litres of water away.
I forget. I know that water is precious but sometimes it’s easy to forget because you can just turn the tap on, and there it is. It made me think that if I forget, even when my mum is ALWAYS going on at me about it, then perhaps other people forget too.
Lots of charities have been set up to raise money to provide safe, clean water to people who need it. This year the charity Water Aid had a really good way to make people think about the importance of water. On 19 November, they raised awareness through World Toilet Day! On this day lots of people raised money to help charities support people in countries where they don’t have flushing toilets like we do in the UK and help them build safe, clean toilets. Because most people think toilets are funny, it makes people take notice!
Can you think of any other clever ways you could raise awareness of the importance of water?