Bureau Régional pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest
 9th World Water Forum: The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights remind States of their obligation to provide safe drinking water to populations©

9th World Water Forum : The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights remind States of their obligation to provide safe drinking water to populations

24 mars 2022

Dakar, 23 March 2022 : In the framework of the Session on the Right to Water organised by the Center for Water Security and Cooperation at the Diamniadio Conference Centre, Mr Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, Special Rapporteur on the human rights to drinking water and sanitation, and Mr Andrea Ori, Regional Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, reminded States of their obligation to provide drinking water to the population. Andrea Ori, Regional Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in West Africa, recalled the historic 2010 UN General Assembly resolution (GA res 64/292), which recognised the "right to drinking water and sanitation as a human right essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights".

Indeed, during his advocacy, Mr Ori did not fail to emphasise "the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which has dedicated SDG 6 to promoting access to safe drinking water and sanitation for all" ; mentioning that “access to safe, affordable and reliable drinking water and sanitation services are fundamental human rights”. Meeting the challenges of SDG 6 requires a paradigm shift - water must be consider not only as a natural resource to be managed and used, but as a basic human right to which all people are entitled without discrimination.

Globally, more than 2 billion people live in countries under water stress. As many as 700 million people are likely to be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030. Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly at risk. Its freshwater resources (9% of the world’s total) are unevenly distributed and 73% of the total population of sub-Saharan Africa was not using safely managed drinking water services in 2017. In the Sahel, the adverse effects of climate change are also acting as an additional driver of water stress, threatening human security and acting as an additional driver of forced human mobility.

On the World Water Day, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Pedro Arrojo Agudo, also called for an end to the appropriation, pollution and overexploitation of groundwater to safeguard human rights to water and sanitation and mitigate social risks arising from climate change. On the occasion, he issued the following statement : World must end overexploitation of groundwater, says UN expert | OHCHR

To address the current shortcomings, Mr. Ori and the independent expert on the right to water recommended that governments promote a rights-based approach, ensuring the implementation of the principles of equality and non-discrimination, participation, access to information, transparency and accountability, but also sustainability with regard to access to water and sanitation for all. Similar principles should also apply to development partners and private actors.

END

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