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

 


Kenyans rights to safe water and sanitation

Kenyans have rights to safe water and sanitation on paper – now it’s time to make them a reality

30 July 2014

GENEVA: At the end of a seven-day official visit to Kenya*, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque, called on the Government of Kenya to transform the constitutional rights to water and sanitation into a reality for the millions of Kenyans who do not enjoy these fundamental human rights.

“I urge the Parliament to adopt the Water Bill, and the Government to subsequently develop a new national water and sanitation strategy, which should be translated into real action at the county level,” de Albuquerque said.
In Kenya, only 30 percent of the population has access to improved sanitation.
Thirteen percent of people still have no choice but defecate in the open. “This is a daily indignity for over 6 million people”, she added.

“I visited Turkana county where over 80 percent of the population practice open defecation. This is not only an absolute denial of the right to sanitation, but also a serious threat to public health and the security of women and girls who have to walk into the bush at night. These women and girls are exposed to daily risks due to the lack of proper sanitation,” she emphasized.

“Realizing human rights costs money. Without dedicated budgets for sanitation, water and hygiene, the constitutionally recognized rights to water and sanitation will never materialize,” de Albuquerque said.

“By investing in sanitation, Kenya would make significant economic gains,” stressed the Special Rapporteur. “The country loses at least 29.6 billion KES (330 million USD) every year due to premature death, health care costs and productivity losses resulting from the lack of access to adequate sanitation”, she said.

In informal settlements and rural areas, the human rights expert also noted that the poorest of the poor are forced to pay much more for their water at water kiosks than the approved tariffs.

“I call upon the authorities to take immediate measures to enforce and monitor the official tariffs for water kiosks. This is crucial to correct the systematic pattern of the poor paying much more for water from kiosks than the rich for water from pipes,” stressed de Albuquerque.

“This is the moment to make it happen. The Kenyan government must seize the opportunity. The rights to water and sanitation should not remain a dream for so many. These rights are recognized in the Kenyan Constitution itself. The process of devolution of State competence for provision of water and sanitation services represents a unique opportunity to design national and county-level roadmaps to reach the most marginalized and excluded and to ensure that their rights become a reality,” de Albuquerque said.

The Special Rapporteur will present a formal report on her official visit to a forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Council, which will include her final findings and recommendations to the Government of Kenya.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

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:

Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news