·        Seeks clean, safe drinking water, sanitation for all

By Chinedozie Ruth Beauty

A group know as Christian Fellowship and care Foundation, in collaboration with National Human Rights Commission on Tuesday, December, 14, 2021 held a one-day workshop on the theme, ‘Advocating for Climate Justice through claim your water rights.

The event which commenced at the Conference Hall of the Imo State Water and Sewarge Corporation, Owerri by 9.am had three sessions.

In the first session which started by 11.am, Clinton Ezeigwe, Campaign Manger of Christian Fellowship and Care Foundation spoke extensively on “Advocating for Climate justice through claim your water rights.”

Thereafter, Sam Taylor, Engagement Officer, End Water Poverty, UK made an overview of the previous speaker’s presentation.

The third session offered opportunity for people to lodge complaints with the National Human Rights commission, through the Imo State Coordinator of the commission, Mrs Ukah Ukachi Martha. There was also an interactive session where Dr Johnson Ndubuisi, Director, Research and Documentation, Centre for Peace Across Borders fielded questions from participants.

The purpose of the workshop according to the organizers was to educate and sensitize the people on their right to water supply as citizens of the state.

The workshop was designed to stress the need for water pipes to be laid in all communities to ensure availability of water supply to the citizens.

Clinton Ezeigwe, Campaign Manager, Chairman Fellowship and Care Foundation in his speech, talked about the socio-economic rights of the people and the cardinal role of water in human life and existence, pointing out that there will be no life on earth without water.

He also reiterated the need to fight climate change through the provision of water which will in turn enhance sanitation of the environment and other attendant benefits.

Ezeigwe also spoke extensively about the principles of human rights, narrative values and characteristics of human rights with emphasis on the availability of water and enhancement of sanitation in Nigeria.

He regretted that the Rochas Okorocha administration abused the constitutional rights of the citizens by vandalizing water pipes and destroyed water channels. This he said, has caused a lot of problems for the state and her people, hence there is need to go back and look at the blue print.

Sam Taylor, Engagement Officer, End Water Poverty, UK, said the workshop was an expression of the groups’ concern for the protection of the aquatic ecosystem and how to deliver quality water supply and sanitation service, enshrine human rights to water and sanitation in the national law.

The workshop according to him is also to canvass and support the independence of regulators and the National Human Rights Commission to enforce the rights and also highlight what is expected from the state government.

The Imo State Coordinator of the National Human Rights Commission Mrs Ukah Ukachi Martha in her presentation said there are three things the citizens should know about their rights to water namely, “accessibility and quantity of water, availability of water to the citizens in the state, Obligation on the right to water and violation of the right to water. Finally, we need to draw the attention of legislators to the salient facts.”

“It should also be noted that the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution B4/292 explicitly recognized human rights to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of human rights.”

“All states, individuals and international provide financial resources, help capacity building and technology transfer to help countries, particular developing ones like Nigeria to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all.”