MANILA, Philippines — Environmental watchdog EcoWaste Coalition appealed to water regulators on Saturday to expedite solutions to the water crisis, stressing that access to water is both a consumer and a human right.
“As duty bearers, we urge water agencies and companies to do everything that is necessary to alleviate the sufferings of those affected by the water shortage,” EcoWaste Coalition chemical safety campaigner Thony Dizon said in a statement.
“We join our citizens, as right holders, in reminding those responsible for realizing our human right to water to find a long-lasting solution to our water woes,” he added.
The group also noted that any solution to address the water scarcity faced by consumers “should not disrespect the rights of other right holders, particularly the Indigenous Peoples (IPs).”
“We are one with the Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance and the IP communities in seeking the genuine restoration of watersheds and forests and in opposing all destructive development projects, especially the construction of new mega-dams, within the Sierra Madre,” Dizon said.
The water crisis has revived talks about the construction of China-funded Kaliwa Dam in the northern Quezon section of the Sierra Madre.
But environmental, religious and activist groups and concerned local government officials in northern Quezon have been campaigning against the project.
READ: Water crisis fans calls for transparency in dam, other China-funded projects
EcoWaste then cited Resolution 64/292 adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010 recognizing the human right to water and sanitation.
According to the UN resolution, water, which is a basic entitlement of all people, should be:
Sufficient: The water supply for each person must be sufficient and continuous for personal and domestic uses. These uses ordinarily include drinking, personal sanitation, washing of clothes, food preparation, personal and household hygiene.
Safe: The water required for each personal or domestic use must be safe, therefore free from micro-organisms, chemical substances and radiological hazards that constitute a threat to a person’s health.
Acceptable: Water should be of an acceptable color, odor and taste for each personal or domestic use, and all water facilities and services must be culturally appropriate and sensitive to gender, lifecycle and privacy requirements.
Physically accessible: Everyone has the right to a water and sanitation service that is physically accessible within, or in the immediate vicinity of the household, educational institution, workplace or health institution.
Affordable: Water, and water facilities and services, must be affordable for all. /muf
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