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

 

Israeli Soldier Kills PA Minister At Non-Violent Protest

Yesterday, an Israeli soldier killed Palestinian Authority (PA) Settlment minister, Ziad Abu Ein, at a non-violent demonstration in the village of Turmusaya. More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Ban on Palestinians claiming compensation against military
  • Pakistan School Killings

    GENEVA (16 December 2014) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday condemned what he described as “an utterly despicable and incomprehensibly vicious attack on defenceless children” at a co-educational school ... More>>

    ALSO:


    Sobering Data On American's Apathy About CIA Torture

    Despite a scathing report on torture, a majority of survey respondents approve of the CIA's grisly methods. More>>

    Sea Shepherd Intercepts Toothfish Poachers

    Yesterday, at approximately 2152 AEDT, the Sea Shepherd conservation ship, Bob Barker, intercepted the illegal fishing vessel Thunder, at 62 15’ South, 81 24’ East, inside the CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) ... More>>

    The White House: Charting A New Course On Cuba

    We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba. More>>

    ALSO:


    Journalist Most Recent Victim Of Israeli Military

    Bashar, a journalist from Palestine TV, was shot in the left leg at Kufr Qaddum on Friday the 5th of December 2014. More>>

    ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Swiss government’s bid to convene a summit on Palestine
  • UN News - UN-backed reconstruction efforts continue in Gaza
  • UNICEF Mobilizes To Reach People Affected By Typhoon

    As Typhoon Hagupit wreaks havoc through the Philippines, UNICEF is acting quickly to support the Filipino government’s response to the emergency, providing lifesaving supplies and services for children and women in the areas hardest hit by cyclone-force ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • FAO - FAO praises government for early typhoon warnings
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news