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.
On 23 January, Enugu State declared a state-of-emergency in its Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector. The state government also established an 18-member inter-ministerial committee to revamp the WASH sector. The declaration comes after a series of advocacy meetings between state officials, Enugu’s water utility provider, the ministry of water resources and civil society organisations, to reinforce Nigerian citizen's rights to safe drinking water.