March 25, 2009 / 11:26 AM / 10 years ago

Brussels sets world record for longest toilet queue

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A world record for the length of a toilet queue was set Sunday when 756 people lined up for a latrine in central Brussels to raise awareness for the need for clean water on World Water Day.

The event was organized by the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF, which gave each participant a wristband with his or her number in the line and T-shirt certifying participation in the event.

“The latrine was of the same design as we use in third world countries — a dry latrine — and we formed the longest queue this morning,” UNICEF spokesman Benoit Melebeck said.

“The Guinness Book of Records told us we needed to get at least 500 people in the queue to get the record,” he said.

Melebeck said the event was to raise public awareness of the need and eventually funds for more pumps, wells, latrines and hygiene education for children in third world countries.

“We have 5,000 children dying every day from the lack of clean water, sanitation and hygiene education — this means one every 20 seconds,” he said.

Melebeck said none of the 756 people actually used the latrine, which was a fake.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski

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