Wednesday the 11th March is no ordinary day to plumbers around the globe; it is the internationally celebrated World Plumbing Day! So much more than just an annual event highlighting the global water and sanitation crisis, World Plumbing Day celebrates the role that plumbing and plumbers play in safeguarding public health.
Initiated by the World Plumbing Council (WPC) - of which the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is a member – World Plumbing Day’s main aims are to:
- Raise awareness about the health related outcomes of plumbing that often get taken for granted.
- Concentrate on communities that still need more and better plumbing to have improved living standards and a better life.
- Remind ourselves to be grateful for the skills of those who work on our efficient plumbing systems.
- Reflect on innovative plumbing advancements to protect public health and improve the world.
There is still an incredible amount of work to be done to end the sanitation crisis in the developing world, where the health and economic impact is felt the deepest. It’s estimated that 900 million school children across the world have no hand washing facilities – enabling the spread of deadly diseases. 361,000 under 5’s per year (almost 1000 per day) die because of water borne diarrhoeal diseases, caused by open defecation near waterways. With 2.1 billion people (or 3 in 10 people) worldwide, still lacking access to safe, readily available water at home, and a further 4.5 billion people (that’s 6 in 10 people) not having toilets in their home, you can see why a lack of plumbing remains a big problem globally.
World Plumbing Day is just as important here in the UK. Even in this day and age we are not immune to plumbing related public health problems. Longstanding issues such as hot water scalding, Legionnaires’ disease, water efficiency, lead in water supplies and pollution caused by plumbing misconnections, are all plumbing problems that can be detrimental to the safety, welfare and health of the public.
CEO of the CIPHE, Kevin Wellman, commented, “A Plumber’s worth should never be underestimated - they do more to keep the world safe than many people will ever know. After all, safe water and sanitation is the very cornerstone of public health - without it disease and poverty would be rife.”
“Nowadays, plumbing and heating systems are complex, the pace of technological change is rapid and both troubleshooting and engineering skills are vital to be a good plumber. This knowledge and competence cannot be learnt on a fast track course – it takes years of hard work and dedication, along with a commitment to lifelong learning.”
“This is why it is imperative consumers understand how important it is to employ a professional engineer. Each year many hundreds of people, including the vulnerable are affected by poorly designed, installed and maintained plumbing systems. At the CIPHE we are currently working in partnership with other leading industry bodies to help raise standards within the industry and raise concerns directly with Government on skills, training, compliance and safety issues.”
You can keep up-to-date with the latest news and events online by logging onto www.worldplumbingday.org or following @WPlumbingDay on twitter.
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