Resolution on the Appointment of a Special Rapporteur on the Right to Water and Sanitation

The forum on the participation of NGOs  at the 47th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights at Banjul, The Gambia,

Reaffirming article 16 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights which guarantees the right to enjoy the best attainable state of physical and mental health which includes the right to safe water and sanitation;

Recalling article 12(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights regarding the highest attainable standard of health which includes safe water and sanitation;

Recalling also article 14(2)(h) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which recognizes the right to adequate living conditions particularly in relation to housing, sanitation, electricity and water supply, transport and communication;

Recalling further article 24(2)(C) and (e) of the Child Rights Convention which recognize the rights of the child to safe drinking water, good nutrition and health of the child;

Reaffirming article 14(2)(C) on the African Chatter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child which states that parties to the present chatter shall undertake to pursue the full implementation of this right and in particular ….’shall ensure the provision of adequate nutrition and safe drinking water’;

Recognising that the rights to water and sanitation are enshrined in the right to health, education and safe environment;

Noting that the failure to fulfill the right to water and sanitation is worse felt by poor and vulnerable peoples including women, children, the physically challenged and People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA);

Commending the African Union and the African Ministerial Council on Water for recognising the right to water and sanitation and prioritising same;

Concerned that Africa accounts for 585million (32%) of the 2.6billion people who lack access to improved sanitation and also accounts for 40% (342million) of the 884million people who lack access to safe drinking water as stated in the 2010 World Health Organisation Joint Monitoring Programme Report;

Concerned also that water and sanitation related diseases like Diarrhea and Cholera account for the second highest causes of child and infant mortality in Africa;

Noting with concern the failure by governments to fulfill the commitments made at regional and international treaties on rights and entitlements of citizens to water, including: Africansan in Durban (2007); First Africa Water Week in Tunis (2008) and the Africa Union Summit in Sharm-el-Sheik in 2008;

Therefore calls on the African Commission on Human and People’s to:

Appoint a Special Rapporteur on the Right to Water and Sanitation who will monitor and report to the commission progress towards addressing the right to water and sanitation;

Urge all State Parties to the Sharm-El-Sheikh and E-thekweni Declarations to set up operational structures that will ensure that the rights of citizens to water and sanitation are respected protected and fulfilled; and

Urge all State Parties to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights to include in their Reports to the African Commission, progress towards fulfilling the right to water and sanitation.

 

Done in Banjul, May 10th, 2010