Member in the Spotlight: Manushya Foundation | The community-led class action lawsuit fighting gold-mining in Phichit, Thailand
In central Thailand's Phichit and Phetchabun provinces, over 6,000 villagers are severely affected by the goldmining operations of Akara Resources Public Company Limited, the Thai subsidiary of the Australian company Kingsgate Consolidated Limited. In 2001, the company started its commercial mining operations at the Chatree Goldmining Complex - just 300 meters from where the communities live. The communities are Thai citizens who have lived in the area for generations. They primarily make a living through farming and are dependent on the area’s natural resources, such as water and land. However, since Akara started its operations, villagers experienced adverse impacts to their livelihoods and environment. Their fundamental human rights have been violated.
Through End Water Poverty's #ClaimYourWaterRights campaign, Media for Community Empowerment has been broadcasting a series of Sauti Yangu ("My Voice") election specials to remind politicians that it is the government's responsibility to guarantee people's human rights to safe water and sanitation ahead of Tanzania's presidential election on 28 October.
On 28 July National Association of Youth Organizations (NAYO) joined activists and civil society around the world to commemorate ten years since the United Nations recognised water and sanitation as human rights. Through #ClaimYourWaterRights, a campaign aimed at mobilising people to demand their human rights to safe water and sanitation, this was a day to amplify calls for governments to urgently finance, deliver and regulate services. The global pandemic has worsened the plight of many people who have no access to water and are at a higher risk of contracting the virus.
It’s been more than 24 years since the South African Constitution was promulgated. The Constitution stated clearly that “everyone has the right to have access to sufficient water” (section 27(1)(b)), and placed the obligation squarely on the state to “take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation” (section 27(2)) of the right of access to sufficient water.
From 30 June to 1 July, Media for Community Empowerment delivered media training to staff at Tanzania League of the Blind (TLB) in Morogoro. TLB is a registered non-governmental organisation committed to improving quality of life for people with visual impairment in Tanzania through lobbying, research, education, awareness raising, vocational training and economic empowerment.
End Water Poverty and Public Services International urge governments to realise water and sanitation workers’ rights amid COVID-19 pandemic
For some people, working from home isn’t an option. Every day water and sanitation workers risk their lives to earn a living. If the spread of coronavirus highlights the importance of safe water, sanitation and hygiene, it also exposes the callousness with which governments and private companies treat those who provide these vital public services.
We can slow coronavirus by providing safe water in homes, hospitals, schools and transport hubs for handwashing
The global coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the vital importance of hygiene. Suddenly we have rediscovered handwashing as the best preventive measure to avoid contracting or spreading the virus. However, when the media, governments and civil society bang on about handwashing without addressing the question of whether people even have water in the first place, it breeds cynicism within communities who are routinely denied their human rights.