World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Jordan:UN Expert Urges Rights-Based Approach to Water Crisis

UN Expert Urges Long-Term, Rights-Based Approach to Water Crisis in Jordan

New York, Mar 17 2014 - As Jordan struggles with a severe water shortage issues – ongoing drought, population growth and now waves of refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict – the country is at a critical moment, said a United Nations independent expert today, emphasizing its need to take a holistic, long-term approach to its water and sanitation strategies.

“The existing emergency measures to the water scarcity problem are not sufficient or sustainable,” said UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque, wrapping a six-day visit to Jordan.

“There must be a link between current emergency needs with a long-term, comprehensive development strategy that ensures access to water and sanitation for all people in Jordan,” she insisted.

Jordan is one of the three most water-scarce countries in the world. The severe shortage of water has been exacerbated by drought, depletion of groundwater reserves, population growth, inflow of migrant workers and climate change. This, combined with several waves of refugees resulting from conflicts in the region – the latest from Syria – has increased these pressures.

Despite these difficulties, considerable progress has been made: 98 percent of households are connected to the water network and 68 percent are connected to the sewerage network, with 98 percent of the collected wastewater being treated.

Still, said Ms. De Albuquerque, the current systems lack sustainability and affordability. She called on the Jordanian Government to make water for human consumption the highest priority over other uses and to “explicitly recognize the human rights to water and sanitation in the law”.

“The current system creates injustices,” noted the Special Rapporteur. “I met a 64 year-old man, Sulaiman Ali who has been living with his wife in his own house in a suburb of Amman for over 20 years. His house is still not connected to the water network despite his repeated applications to the water authority. He is forced to devote almost 50 percent of his monthly income to paying water tankers and sludge collection,” Ms. de Albuquerque said.

The Special Rapporteur suggested the implementation of “a new tariff system that requires better-off households to pay higher tariffs, while poorer households would be guaranteed a lower, subsidized price”. Such a system, she said, should aim at balancing water savings and adequate provision.

Noting the “generosity and real hospitality” with which the Jordanian Government and the Jordanian people are accommodating successive waves of refugees in their country, the expert urged both the Government and the international community “to further work together to shift from the current emergency stance to a proper medium and longer-term response in order to ensure the sustainable provision of water and sanitation not only to refugees but to the wider Jordanian population.”

The Special Rapporteur will present a formal report on this mission to an upcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council in September, which will include the final findings and recommendations to the Government of Jordan.

Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news