Today we welcome Alana Potter as our new international coordinator following the departure of Al-hassan Adam. Alana joins End Water Poverty from WaterAid, where she worked as a senior policy analyst. She is based in South Africa and has a long history of effecting social change through global, national, and regional networks. She previously led the Africa Regional programme in IRC WASH and the Research and Advocacy department of the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), which interweaves litigation, research, and policy and media advocacy to amplify the human rights realisation agendas of marginalised groups and continues to participate in our Claim Your Water Rights campaign. Since 1996, Alana has worked closely with national and local governments, social movements and civil society, primarily towards equitable and sustainable water and sanitation services, but also towards adequate social housing and decent work in the informal economy. Her extensive experience and commitment to human rights makes her the ideal person to build on Al-hassan’s work and strengthen our coalition.
Alana said: “I’m honoured to take up this position. Now more than ever, creating a fair world depends on an active citizenry, employing a diverse range of rights-claiming strategies.”
How does the climate crisis affect people’s right to water?
WaterAid have created an interactive platform for communities, campaigners and civil society to share stories of how the climate crisis affects water access.
We strongly encourage you to share your experience and expertise. For example, a consortium of members in Tanzania trained gold miners to advocate for their rights to safe water and toilets. In Zimbabwe, Matabeleland Institute of Human Rights and the National Association of Youth Organisations are generating unrelenting public pressure through weekly demonstrations demanding water and climate justice. Meanwhile Vision Africa Regional Network are calling on Zambian policy makers to protect surface- and groundwater from pollution.
Supporting anti-privatisation protests across Africa
In solidarity with a number of our African members, we endorsed the Our Water, Our Right coalition’s position on water privatisation. We agree that it is the state’s duty to guarantee people’s rights: water should never be controlled by corporations or run for profit. African Center for Advocacy’s Younoussa Abbosouka added: “Cameroon has already weathered one storm brought about by water privatisation. Now, our government must protect us from the pressure of the World Bank, which brings strong winds blowing in favor of profits, not people.”
The protests come after UN special rapporteur Pedro Arrojo affirmed that privatisation undermines the human rights to water and sanitation in a report outlining the consequences of commodification.
What is a human rights-based approach to water and sanitation?
Coalition Eau have produced an excellent study on how a human rights-based approach can improve accountability, address structural inequalities and realise marginalised communities’ rights to water and sanitation. The study features our Claim Your Water Rights campaign as an example of this approach in action.