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Marketing students raise money to fight poor sanitation in Africa

Media release

C191/08

2 July 2008

Curtin Business School students have joined forces with Lifewater Canada to raise money to improve sanitation in a Liberian community in Africa.

The Curtin Marketing Association (CMA) initiative will provide the Liberian community with a latrine and a health and hygiene workshop to raise awareness amongst the community of the importance of sanitary practice.

The CMA organised a three day statistical workshop in 2006 and the money raised from this was donated to Lifewater Canada. The construction of the latrine was completed recently and the workshop was held soon after construction was finalised.

Associate Professor Ian Phau who founded the CMA said that simple interventions such as the construction of latrines can make a vast difference in improving public health.

“Approximately four billion people globally suffer from chronic waterborne disease which is linked to a lack of adequate sanitation and poses a serious health risk,” Associate Professor Phau said.

“You realise how fortunate you are when you see people around the world that don’t have clean water and adequate sanitation.

“Many of the local community members have never used a latrine and have never been taught sanitary habits. To educate the community on this is a huge challenge and getting people to change their habits is more difficult than building the infrastructure.”

The CMA is a non-profit association governed by students which aims to build social, academic and industry-based relationships and skills. CMA initiate, organise and run many events every semester, providing members with experience in advertising, event planning, sponsorship and media.

Lifewater Canada is a volunteer-driven organisation that trains and equips the rural poor in Africa to drill wells and build washrooms.

Note to Editor: A photograph of A/Professor Phau is available on request or photo opportunities with A/Professor Phau and CMA students can be organised on request.

Modified: 3 July 2008