A wee Scottish award for Bathgate...
Published 19/11/2015 | 00:06
Bathgate has been named Scotland's first official toilet twinned town after locals raised money for sanitation programmes in poor countries.
The West Lothian town receives the accolade today from charity initiative Toilet Twinning, which encourages people to pay to provide a latrine for a family overseas.
People involved in the scheme will meet in Boghall Parish Church today - World Toilet Day - as the award is presented.
Gillian Reid, who has lived in the town for 35 years, is involved in both the Bathgate and Whitburn Fair Trade groups whose coffee mornings funded some of the 20 local twins.
She said: "So many children die every day because they don't have clean water and sanitation. How much more basic can you get than needing a toilet to keep healthy?
"A toilet is something so fundamental. We're really proud to get this award - and I hope it will inspire others to twin too."
It costs £60 to twin a household lavatory and money raised goes to Tearfund's water and sanitation programme, which provides decent toilets, clean water and hygiene education in some of the world's poorest countries.
Lynne Paterson, director of Tearfund Scotland, said: "We tend to get a bit embarrassed talking about toilets in this country - but in the countries where we work, they are quite literally life-savers. Bathgate should be very proud of its achievement: its toilet twins will change many lives forever."