New year, new members
We start 2022 by introducing several new members to our coalition. Firstly we welcome the Water and Environment Media Network (WEMNET) from Uganda, who create uncensored platforms for journalists and campaigners to promote environmental awareness and demand accountability. From South Africa we welcome the African Water Commons Collective, a feminist collective of water justice activists who provide political education and support communities in establishing Water Action Committees. Finally, we formally welcome Global Society for Anti-Corruption and WASH Rights Network, who lead our Claim Your Water Rights campaign in Enugu State, Nigeria. The Network was instrumental in the recent passing into law of the Enugu State Water Bill, which stipulates that people have a right to water and that an independent body must regulate service providers.
Joint submission on the rights of indigenous and rural communities
End Water Poverty, Survivors of Lesotho Dams (SOLD) and The Freshwater Action Network Mexico (FANMex) made a joint submission to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the water rights of indigenous peoples and people living in rural areas.
SOLD and FANMex identified various obstacles to the realisation of communities’ rights, including: funding cuts, inadequate monitoring, failure to implement policies and the persecution of human rights defenders.
The submission concluded by offering several recommendations to governments and international development actors. Among other proposals, SOLD called for the human rights to water and sanitation to be enshrined in Lesotho’s constitution, while FANMex proposed redress measures for industries who contravene regulatory standards.
You can read the submission summary as well as SOLD and FANMex’s complete questionnaire responses on our website. We are grateful to the Centre for Applied Legal Studies for their editorial assistance, and to Oxfam South Africa and the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development for endorsing the submission.
We strongly encourage members to apply for the following:
The Fund for Global Human Rights offers up to 24 months of general support to grassroots groups working to expand legal access and support communities fighting systemic injustices. The deadline to apply is 18 February.
The International Climate Initiative offers grants of €60,000-€200,000 to local and regional climate campaigners. Please check that your organisation is eligible for funds before applying. The deadline is 15 April.
End Water Poverty at the Alternative World Water Forum
This year the Alternative or People’s World Water Forum will be held in Dakar, Senegal, from 22-25 March. The People’s Forum offers an opportunity “to learn, to mobilise and to organise and unite the human rights to water struggles in Africa with other anti-privatisation struggles across the globe”. Its programme includes sessions on gender, learning from COVID-19, resistance to water privatisation, the future of democratic water ownership, and more.
End Water Poverty has an extremely limited number of sponsorships available for members who wish attend the People’s Forum in person. Each sponsorship of 2500 USD aims to cover flight tickets, accommodation, COVID tests and airport pick-ups. Funds will be transferred to the Forum organiser, Africans Rising, who will assist with arrangements.
Before deciding if you wish to attend please carefully review this background note, which outlines People’s Forum’s history, objectives and themes. You must meet the following selection criteria:
- You must align with the Forum’s purpose, principles, and objectives
- You must feel confident participating in and contributing to the Forum
- You must only apply for one sponsorship per organisation
- Preference will be given to members based in Africa as one of the Forum’s objectives is to launch an African Water Justice Network. This is also the first time that the Forum will be held in an African country since 1997.
If you meet these criteria, please email a paragraph outlining your credentials and reasons for attending to [email protected] by Thursday 10 February. Please note that the 2500 USD fee does NOT include access to the official World Water Forum, which will take place from 22-27 March approximately 30 km outside Dakar.