Tag Archives: Human Right To Water

7/2011 Draft Water Resource Development Strategy for the Navajo Nation by Navajo Nation Department of Water Resources

7/2011 Draft Water Resource Development Strategy for the Navajo Nation by Navajo Nation Department of Water…“>7/2011 Draft Water Resource Development Strategy for the Navajo Nation, Navajo Nation Department of Water Resources
Excerpt: The lack of infrastructure, the lack of economic development, and the sustained poverty are closely connected. Throughout the arid southwest, and especially on the Navajo Nation, a reliable water supply is essential for jump-starting and sustaining economic development. The Navajo Nation has identified economic development growth centers throughout the reservation. These economic development centers represent large population bases, which have the potential to benefit from an economy of scale in infrastructure development. Accordingly the Navajo Nation will focus resources in these locations to stimulate economic growth.

7/25/2012 Gallup Independent: Residents upset over relocated NHA meeting

7/25/2012 Gallup Independent: Residents Upset Over Relocated NHA Mtg by Kathy Helms, Dine’ Bureau“>7/25/2012 Gallup Independent: Residents upset over relocated NHA meeting By Kathy Helms, Dine’ Bureau

6/13/2012 Navajo Hopi Observer: 2 More Hopi Villages, Bacavi and Shungopavi join Hotevilla in opposing water rights settlement

6/13/2012 Navajo Hopi Observer: 2 More Hopi Villages Bacavi & Shungopavi Join Hotevilla in Opposing…“>

6/14/2012 Naabikiyati (Navajo Nation Council) Budget & Finance Committee meeting: Navajo Hopi Little CO River Water Rights Settlement

6/14/2012 Naabikiyati (Navajo Nation Council) Budget & Finance Committee Special Mtg Agenda“>6/14/2012 Naabikiyati (Navajo Nation Council) Budget & Finance Committee meeting to discuss new Business: Legislation No. 0230-12: An Action Relating to the Budget and Finance, Resources and Development and the Nabikiyati Committees; Approving the Proposed Navajo-Hopi Little Colorado River Water Settlement Agreement Sponsor: Johnny Naize, Speaker

5/24/2011 Rolanda Tohannie to Mr. James Anaya: Living in the former Bennett Freeze & drinking contaminated water

5/24/2012 Rolanda Tohannie to James Anaya for the OFFICIAL RECORD 1“>5/24/2012 Rolanda Tohannie to Mr. James Anaya, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indgenous Peoples, UN OHCHR: Living in the former Bennett Freeze & drinking uranium and arsenic contaminated water in Box Springs (Navajo Nation), AZ

5/19/2012 Bonnie Whitesinger to Mr. James Anaya, OHCHR on Human Rights Violations in Big Mountain, Black Mesa HPL

5 19 2012 Bonnie White Singer to Mr. James Anaya, OHCHR“>

8/22/2011 James W. Zion Report to UN CERD on human right to safe drinking water and sanitation

James Zion Letter to Patrick Thorn Berry UN CERD Committee Member“>

Water as Basic Human Right Has a Market Price, Says U.N. Chief

Water as Basic Human Right Has a Market Price, Says U.N. Chief By Thalif Deen: UNITED NATIONS, Aug 3, 2011 (IPS) – As the 193-member General Assembly commemorates the first anniversary of its landmark resolution pronouncing water and sanitation to be a basic human right, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon triggered a political controversy last week when he implicitly declared that even human rights have a market price. “Let us be clear,” he asserted, “a right to water and sanitation does not mean that water should be free.” Rather, he said, it means that water and sanitation services should be affordable and available for all, and that member states must do everything in their power to make this happen.

But what if member states transfer their obligations to the private sector, known to extract a heavy price – even from those who cannot afford to pay in the world’s poorer nations?

Darcey O’Callaghan, international policy director at the Washington- based Food and Water Watch, told IPS the important distinction is that while water delivery has a cost, water itself cannot be assigned – as many argue – an appropriate market price.

“Advocating for the human right to water is defined as water for basic health and safety needs,” she said. “It does not mean free water for swimming pools and golf courses.”

She pointed out that when poor slum dwellers pay five times what the wealthy pay for water, it is a clear example of discrimination and thus a violation of the human right to water that is now enshrined in a U.N. General Assembly resolution, adopted in July 2010.

“States are now duty bound to respect, protect and fulfill the human right to water and sanitation,” she declared.

According to the United Nations, nearly 900 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water, and more than 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation.

In his statement last week, the secretary-general admitted it is not acceptable that poor slum-dwellers pay five or even 10 times as much for their water as wealthy residents of the same cities.

“And it is not acceptable that more than one billion people in rural communities live without toilets and have to defecate in the open,” he said.

But the reality is far different from the platitudes of the secretary-general, says a new report released by Food and Water Watch.

According to the study, private operations can create obstacles to the human right to affordable and accessible water and sanitation services.

In Guayaquil, Ecuador, water prices increased by 180 percent after the water system was taken over by Interagua, a subsidiary of Bechtel.

The study also said customers of the private water provider in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta experienced a 258-percent increase in tariffs and poor water quality, while only 54 percent of low-income households were provided with new water connections.

A similar pattern of exclusion was also evident in La Paz and El Alto, Bolivia, where a private contractor was accused of denying water service to 80,000 families.

“Many couldn’t afford the cost of setting up a connection, which for the poorest households cost the equivalent of more than two years of food expenses,” the study noted.

At a U.N. press conference last month, President Evo Morales Ayma of Bolivia, one of the strongest advocates of water as a basic human right, told reporters: “Water is life. Water is humanity. The right to water is just as important as any other human right.”

Backed by a 100-million-dollar loan from the Venezuela-based Andean Development Corporation, Bolivia has launched a major development project to supply rural municipalities with water for human consumption, irrigation and cattle rearing.

Sue Yardley, senior public policy officer at Tearfund, and a member of End Water Poverty, told IPS that cost recovery is a sound principle, often necessary for sustainable water and sanitation services over time.

But it has to be applied flexibly, focusing on those that can afford to pay alongside measures to ensure that cost recovery doesn’t become a barrier to access for poor people, she added.

In its report, Food and Water Watch categorically says that entrusting water utility operations to private enterprises is an inadequate method of realising the human right to water.

The study, titled “Water = Life: How Privatisation Undermines the Human Right to Water”, shows that poor, rural communities with weak governments can better deliver safe, clean, affordable water to their residents by partnering with one another.

“Yet the same communities that struggle to access this essential resource are also vulnerable to privatisation schemes that hike up prices, and leave the poor unable to afford basic water services,” says Food and Water Watch’s Executive Director Wenonah Hauter.

While privatised water service has been shown to obstruct the human right to water, research shows that municipalities can deliver safe, affordable water to residents by pooling resources in public-public partnerships (PUPs).

According to the study, PUPs can mitigate price increases and allow communities to avoid other problems associated with privatised water service because they eliminate the profit margin that is mandatory in privatised water delivery.

Mundia Matongo, policy and research officer at WaterAid Zambia and a member of End Water Poverty, told IPS, “Just to be clear, the general understanding is that water is both a social and economic good.”

As such, she said, it should be available first as a matter of right, and then that supply should be sustainable, which entails the users paying the right price. Too low a price would mean the supply won’t be sustained.

Taking the Zambian case as an example, she said, the water pricing model is based on a cross subsidy, with the rich paying for the poor.

“And I would say that there needs to be much closer regulation and enforcement of correct pricing plans,” she added.

“What we also find is that those communities most marginalised, such as families living in informal settlements, are forced to pay huge and poverty-inducing costs for water by unscrupulous government contracted firms or private suppliers – even in emerging economy countries such as India.”

This is absolutely not acceptable and the United Nations and its member states must ensure this ends by ensuring practical and funded country plans for water access, Matongo declared.

(END)

7/23/2011 IPS: Right to Water Still a Political Mirage

The landmark resolution “Human rights and access to safe drinking water and sanitation” A/HRC/15/L.14 was adopted by the 192-member General Assembly on Jul. 28 last year, and two months later, was endorsed by the 47-member Human Rights Council in Geneva. The United States abstained and so did some of the European, as well as industrialised countries. 7/23/2011 Right to Water Still a Political Mirage By Thalif Deen: UNITED NATIONS, Jul 23, 2011 (IPS) – When the international community commemorates the first anniversary of a historic General Assembly resolution recognising the right to water and sanitation as a basic human right, there will be no joyous celebrations in the corridors of the United Nations, come Jul. 28.

“I think member states have been slow to react,” complains a highly- disappointed Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians, one of Canada’s largest citizens’ organisations promoting social and economic justice.

“I know my own government has still not endorsed it, and still says – incorrectly – that the General Assembly resolution was not binding,” Barlow told IPS.

The landmark resolution was adopted by the 192-member General Assembly on Jul. 28 last year, and two months later, was endorsed by the 47-member Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Barlow, a former senior U.N. adviser on water and who chairs the Washington-based Food and Water Watch, said, “I think the most significant progress was the adoption of a second resolution by the Human Rights Council.”

Not only did the second resolution lay out the responsibilities of governments to realise this newly recognised right, because it was based on two existing international treaties, but it also clarified that the General Assembly resolution is now binding, she added.

“The human right to water and sanitation is now as binding as any other (resolution) ever adopted by the United Nations,” Barlow noted.

Still, the resolution proved politically divisive, with 122 countries voting for it, 41 abstaining, but with no negative votes.

The United States abstained and so did some of the European, as well as industrialised countries, including Britain, Australia, Austria, Canada, Greece, Sweden, Japan, Israel, South Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Ireland.

But several developing nations, mostly from Africa, also abstained on the vote, siding with rich industrial countries. These included Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Zambia, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

Fleur Anderson, international campaign coordinator for the London- based End Water Poverty, told IPS that despite the U.N. resolution, the water and sanitation crisis has continued for another long year.

“And the problem is not water scarcity or climate change but choices by governments not to fund water and sanitation provision for every community,” she said.

She said millions of ordinary people around the world could have life-changing water services by next year, “and we keep pushing our governments to treat this as the emergency situation which it is.”

Anderson said campaigners for End Water Poverty welcomed the recognition of the right to water and sanitation, and this has led to an increasing number of ordinary people around the world wanting to speak out and claim their right.

But the sanitation Millennium Development Goal (MDG), to reduce by 50 percent the number of people without access to adequate sanitation by 2015, is from being reached so far, she noted.

And governments need to take far more bold action and increase spending on sanitation to one percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Otherwise these rights will remain meaningless for the parents of the 4,000 children who die every day from diarrhoea caused by lack of sanitation, said Anderson.

The ‘Sanitation and Water For All’ partnership has the potential to prove a leadership by governments and civil society in providing the increased funding, coordination and better planning needed, but governments and member states need to step up to this challenge.

“If the ‘business as usual’ approach to sanitation continues, the sanitation MDG won’t be met for another 200 years, and this makes a mockery of the fine commitments to the right to water and sanitation,” she added.

John Sauer of Water for People told IPS that from the U.S. perspective, there has been a step forward in the appointment of a Global Water Coordinator, Christian Holmes.

Also they took another step by signing the Memoradum of Understanding (MOU) with the World Bank on World Water Day. These are two good steps, he said.

Sauer said while certainly more progress is needed, some countries have taken this forward.

For example, in Liberia, they’ve done a base line survey of all of their rural water points. The government of Liberia and the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Programme used a monitoring and evaluation platform called FLOW, which Water For People helped to create as a part of this base line survey process.

This has helped feed into a national plan that is right now before the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first woman president and a former assistant administrator of the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP).

“All of this has been supported by the new coalition Sanitation and Water for All, which I think is where you should look to ask and see progress of the implementation on the Human Right to Water,” Sauer said.

It is particularly important that Liberia has taken all of these steps given that the president of Liberia is head of the African Water Ministers Council. She is certainly trying to set a good example, said Sauer.

Asked what civil society plans to do in ensuring the implementation of the U.N. resolution, Barlow told IPS, “Our global water justice community has been working hard on the next steps.”

“Essentially we are working to create a domestic plan of action in as many countries as we can and most will include lobbying their governments to write its plan of action for submission to the U.N. Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and for this plan to clearly spell out how the government will meet the three required obligations (to respect, to protect, and to fulfil),” she said.

The Council of Canadians also plans to campaign governments to adopt the right to water and sanitation into their own constitutions, thereby removing this fundamental right from the whims of changing political parties.

Additionally, the Council seeks to enlarge the traditional view of a human right from the individually-centred one, currently used at the United Nations, to one that is more inclusive of cultural and collective realities.

“We also want the right to water and sanitation to include the rights of water itself and the rights of watersheds to be protected from extractive industries and corporate and government pollution,” Barlow said.

The Council will also target women and indigenous peoples, as well as the most marginalised, for priority services.

It will campaign globally for the wealthy governments of the North to increase their foreign aid and target it to water and wastewater infrastructure investment in the global South and continue to promote water and wastewater delivery systems that are public and not-for- profit.

(END)

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs: Water is a Human Right

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs: Water is a Human Right: Water is considered a basic human right according to many international treaties, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. But in CANADA, running water is not available to INDIGENOUS PEOPLE living in Manitoba. The Island Lake area of four reserves has a population of 10,000 and half of its homes DO NOT HAVE RUNNING WATER. The Indigenous people of the Island Lake region have less clean water than people living in refugee camps overseas. This isn’t happening in the third world, it’s happening in one of the WORLD’S RICHEST COUNTRIES.

Indigenous people in Canada live in third world conditions and MOST CANADIANS are NOT even AWARE of it.

If you CARE ABOUT PEOPLE in this country, if you are ASHAMED OF OUR GOVERNMENT and the way it treats Indigenous people, then take a stand.

Why should CANADA’S INDIGENOUS people be treated like THIRD WORLD CITIZENS?

Join us in the “WATER IS A HUMAN RIGHT” campaign to make Canada adhere to the same standards the United Nations says are rights FOR ALL.

We have prepaid postcards to the Prime Minister of Canada using the image above. They are available at AMC, 2nd floor, 275 Portage Ave., Winnipeg. You can also sign the online petition on the right or join our facebook group, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.
For More Information:
Winnipeg Free Press: No Running Water

Is an investigative series of the lack of running water on First Nations Communities in the Island Lake region of Manitoba, for full story and details please visit: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/no-running-water/
United nation general assembly declares access to clean water and sanitation is a human right:

28 July 2010 – Safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights, the General Assembly declared today, voicing deep concern that almost 900 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water.

UN News Centre
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?newsid=35456&cr=sanitation&Cr1
Winnipeg Free Press – Poor sanitation, poor health

(story on Jacob Flett, child in postcard campaign photo)

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/no-running-water/without/Poor-sanitation-poor-health-106368494.html

JOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA

United Nations News Centre

1 October 2010 – The main United Nations body dealing with human rights has affirmed that the right to water and sanitation is contained in existing human rights treaties, and that States have the primary responsibility to ensure the full realization of this and all other basic human rights.
While the General Assembly declared in July that safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights, this is the first time that the Human Rights Council has declared itself on the issue….

Right to water and sanitation is legally binding, affirms key UN body
World Health Organization

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/rightowater/en/
Assembly of First Nations

http://www.afn.ca/article.asp?id=2844
Council for Canadians: Acting for Social Justice

http://www.canadians.org/water/index.html
Right to Water

http://www.righttowater.ca/

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