People's Postcode Lottery players are generously supporting WaterAid activities in Zambia with an amazing £250,000. That funding is enabling thousands of people to access safe water and toilets and gain life-saving hygiene knowledge.

Although Zambia's economy is growing, there are many problems in the country. Two in three people lack access to clean water. Over half the population has nowhere to go to the toilet. These issues are having a big impact on health, and over 5,000 Zambian children die every year from diarrhoea. WaterAid is working hard to change this dire situation.

Access to safe water and toilets radically changes children's experiences of going to school. Until now, Chobana Village School had just six toilets for 475 children. School Manager Canisius Moonga notes "When the toilets are busy, the children can't wait, and they rush into the bush to relieve themselves." This takes children away from school, forcing them to miss classes. It also puts them at risk of diseases like dysentery, as well as attacks from animals or people.

The good news is that things are about to change. Emma Malambo in the village has been busy recently breaking stones. Thanks to players' support, new toilets are being built at the school. Emma is helping with the construction – and although it may sound like hard work, she couldn't be happier. "We don't want our children to use the bush, where they can be bitten by snakes," Emma explained. "We want to see enough toilets here so that sanitation improves."

Because of the incredible support of our generous players, Emma and the people of Chobana are able to pursue this goal for the health and education of their children.

Zambia's plight may seem a long way from us, with our easy access to taps and toilets. However, you don't have to look back far to see life without running water and sanitation right here in the UK. In the 19th century, sewage carrying deadly diseases ran through our streets and into rivers, and water-related diseases were a real threat.

As we approach the 150th anniversary of the UK's first modern sewer system, WaterAid is inviting everyone to take part in WaterAid's Big History Project. They will provide ideas to help you uncover the hidden stories in your local area – so they can piece together the history of taps and toilets across the country. WaterAid will then use this research to ignite the political will to transform communities around the world.

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