(Last Updated on March 22, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – A leading human rights organisation has called on the authorities to initiate policies that ensure the provision of universal access to clean water.
In a statement commemorating World Water Day, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said local authorities and the central government needed to ensure that there is water for sustainable development in Zimbabwe.
“Without water, there can be no guarantee of an adequate standard of living or even the right to health care and life itself. It is therefore imperative for local authorities and government to take immediate action to ensure that there is water for sustainable development in Zimbabwe.
“ZLHR calls on government through its departments to provide universal access to affordable water of good quality through non-discriminatory policies that protect vulnerable and marginalised citizens. State actors to actively consult and ensure participation of all stakeholders in formulating viable strategic plans to ensure long-term sustainability of the water system” read part of the statement.
ZLHR has been over the years playing an important role in advocating for the full realisation of the right to safe and clean water for citizens through launching court cases against authorities and seeking orders compelling them to provide portable water.
While in some cases, the courts have ruled in favour of the organisation and the people it’s representing, ZLHR says it is still concerned with some instances where courts have dismissed their applications.
“…In some of the cases, the judicial officers ruled in favour of the applicants and ordered both local and central government to ensure the supply of potable water and provide financial resources to guarantee the provision of the precious liquid. However, ZLHR remains concerned that in Gweru, Hwange and Masvingo, the court applications for access to potable water were dismissed, although unavailability of water in communities can contribute to the rapid spread of Covid-19 as those affected are not able to exercise good personal hygiene,” added ZLHR.
World Water Day is celebrated annually by the United Nations to draw attention to sustainable management of the scarce resource, and this year is run under the theme ‘Valuing Water’.