Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Bathgate named as Scotland's first toilet-twinned town

Twinned toilets certificate
Image caption This Bathgate toilet has been twinned with a toilet in India

A West Lothian town has been named Scotland's first toilet-twinned town after locals raised money for sanitation projects in poor countries.

Bathgate received the accolade from the charity Toilet Twinning which encourages people to pay to provide a latrine for a family overseas.

People involved in the scheme met in Boghall Parish Church on Thursday - World Toilet Day.

It costs £60 to twin a household toilet.

Money raised goes to Tearfund's water and sanitation programme, which provides toilets, clean water and hygiene education in some of the world's poorest countries.

'So fundamental'

Gillian Reid, who has lived in Bathgate 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."

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."

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