Water is a human right, but the services are not
Research output: Other conference contribution › Paper, poster or abstract › Scientific
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2016|
|Event||Development Day Conference 2016: Making Alternatives Visible: Resisting and Reshaping the Mainstream. - House of Science and Letters, Helsinki, Finland|
Duration: 11 Feb 2016 → 12 Feb 2016
|Conference||Development Day Conference 2016|
|Period||11/02/16 → 12/02/16|
Although water and sanitation are explicitly recognized as a human right, 663 million people lacked improved drinking water sources and 2.4 billion people lacked improved sanitation facilities in 2015. The United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation warns that today’s institutional framework requires a major upgrade for the world to possibly meet water and sanitation-related objectives in the 2030 Agenda. For example, underpricing of water is widespread across Africa. Therefore the sector will forgo at least USD 1.8 billion a year in revenues (0.3 percent of GDP). Underpricing has also contributed to the situation, where on average 35 percent of African water services infrastructure assets need rehabilitation.
This wicked “Problematique” requires a new systemic and systematic participatory approach involving also substantive participation by citizens and water users in the actual definition of the goals and direction of water policy, and raising awareness of the importance of water services among policy-makers, water service users and the citizens. Benefit-to-cost ratios have been reported to be as high as 7 to 1 for basic water and sanitation services. We should also be aware that the human rights framework as such does not provide for a right to free water services.