November 2021: Making Rights Real, AfricaSan 6, World Toilet Day

End Water Poverty
3 Dec 2021

                                                          Alana speaks to the Making Rights Real podcast

Making Rights Real

 

It's been a busy month for our new international coordinator Alana Potter. In her first week at End Water Poverty, Alana spoke about rights claiming, legal activism and more on the Making Rights Real podcast. Alana highlighted the false binary between ‘polite’ or ‘polemical’ campaigning and instead stressed the importance of embracing a variety of tactics, referring to diverse examples of community mobilisation documented in the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa’s Claiming Water Rights series. She also shared key points from our advocacy toolkit and offered suggestions to those litigating in countries without progressive legal frameworks.

The Making Rights Real podcast is hosted by our member WASH United and previously featured our Steering Committee representative for Africa, Malesi Shivaji. You can listen to every #MRRtalk online.

                                                                          End Water Poverty at AfricaSan 6 

AMCOW


Alana also joined a number of members at the sixth AfricaSan conference. ANEW hosted the conference's civil society dialogue, where KEWASNET, Zambia NGO WASH Forum, and CONIWAS called for gender equality, investment in menstrual hygiene management, and the realisation of women's rights.

We then held an interactive session on accountability with Water Witness. Several members gave insightful, inspiring presentations - including Christian Fellowship and Care Foundation's Clinton Ezeigwe, who shared his experience of holding government accountable through the Claim Your Water Rights campaign.

Finally Alana, Water Integrity Network and ICLEI Africa examined how the failure to guarantee the water rights of people living in 'informal settlements' exposes a dearth of integrity. Alana underlined the need for governments and INGOs to actively recognise residents as lawful and legitimate rights-holders.

You can watch all these sessions by logging into the AfricaSan portal. You can also read the key points of each session on our Twitter page (links above).

                                           IRSP Pakistan visits Lake Manchar to demand climate action

IRSP


As part of our Claim Your Water Rights campaign, Integrated Regional Support Programme visited Manchar - one of Asia's largest freshwater lakes. Manchar increasingly suffers from climate-induced depletion and industrial pollution. IRSP director Syed Shah Nasir met 250 families who live near the lake to amplify their voices and demand that the government urgently protect Pakistan's freshwater. 

                 World Toilet Day: No justice for two sanitation workers poisoned in Pakistan

Sweepers Are Superheroes


Despite providing an essential public service, sanitation workers are routinely dehumanised. On World Toilet Day we joined Sweepers Are Superheroes in demanding legal justice for Nadeem and Faisal Masih, who died after being forced to enter a toxic sewer without protective equipment in Sargodha, Pakistan. Asif Aqeel's sensitive and enraging report superbly documents their families' fight for justice.

Elsewhere our members considered whether World Toilet Day campaigns reflect national realities or civil society agendas. Following reports that drinking water in several Lusaka townships had been contaminated by faecal matter, Bubala Muyovwe called on the government "to create an environment that translates its human rights obligations into meaningful action for the betterment of the people of Zambia". Meanwhile Timothy Kpeh urged the Liberian government to make tangible commitments rather than wasting resources on tenuous celebrations. After persistent civil society petitioning and lobbying, President George Weah committed half of million USD to the Open Defecation Free roadmap.