On World Water Day, Harness the Potential of Water as an Instrument...

On World Water Day, Harness the Potential of Water as an Instrument for Peace

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ON World Water Day, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) implores local and central government to perform their legal obligations of ensuring sufficient, safe, clean, potable and affordable access to water and harness the potential of this precious resource as an instrument for peace.

In 2024, World Water Day is commemorated under the theme “Water for Peace”.

The theme emphasises the need for communities to cooperate on water and foster harmony and peace. It also focuses on the important role which water plays in creating stability and prosperity in the world. This means that water should be embraced and exploited as a catalyst for peace rather than conflict.

Globally, people have limited or no access to safe water for personal and domestic use and for basic sanitation and this spawned detrimental effects on the enjoyment of other critical human rights including the right to health, an adequate standard of living, education and shelter among other rights.

Over the years, water sources have helped bring populations together and eased conflict and tension across the world.

Water must be treated not just as a natural resource but as a fundamental human right to which all people should be entitled without discrimination or any hindrances.

Access to safe, affordable and reliable drinking water and sanitation services are basic human rights, which help people to sustain healthy livelihoods and maintaining their dignity.

Sadly, in Zimbabwe, people are grappling with crippling clean water shortages, which has resulted in lives being lost across the country, owing to the outbreak of medieval diseases such as cholera and other water-borne diseases.

It is an unpardonable indictment on the part of local and central  government that in 2024, large portions of the Zimbabwean population is at continuous risk from waterborne diseases such as cholera while in some cities, authorities have imposed a punitive water rationing regime, which has brought about unprecedented suffering for residents. The situation has been worsened by the impending drought which has seen the depletion of water sources.

It is high time that both local and central government should immediately start treating access to safe, clean and potable water as a human right as guaranteed in section 77 of the Constitution, which also demands that government should take legislative and other measures to achieve the progressive realisation of this critical right.

Government needs to realise that safe, clean and potable water is fundamental to people’s daily lives and that water is a key component of people’s lives, which has the power to transform their lives.

Moreover, water is central to human survival, the environment and the economy as it paves the way for broader social and economic advancements.

To harness water for peace, ZLHR calls upon both local and central government to;

 

  • Take concrete steps aimed at increasing access to clean, safe and potable water throughout the country;

 

  • Preserve, restore and combat the degradation of wetlands, which are critical sources of water;

 

  • Invest in water, sanitation and hygiene services;

 

  • Conserve and manage water in order to effectively preserve the earth’s valuable and finite resource;

ENDS

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
Kodzero/Amalungelo House
No. 103 Sam Nujoma Street, Harare, Zimbabwe
Phone: (+263 8677005347, +263 242 764085/705370/708118
Email: info@zlhr.org
www.zlhr.org.zw
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