In July this year, 120 nations voted in favour of a UN resolution confirming the rights to water and sanitation as human rights. Recently, however, all references to human rights have been removed from the draft text of a United Nations General Assembly resolution on a separate drive for sanitation. This change in the text removed the obligation of states under international law to report to the UN on progress in providing their citizens with access to clean water and sanitation. On November 23, the final version of the text is due to be completed.
A large hydropower dam is threatening the Omo river basin in Ethiopia and the surroundings of lake Turkana in Kenya. Completion of the dam will have devastating effects on the environment and on hundreds of thousands of mostly tribal people who live in the area. As a result of ongoing protests and studies on the impact of the dam, several funders have already withdrawn their loans. Unfortunately, the Industrial Commercial Bank of China has now offered to further fund the project. This week, the Kenian organisation 'Friends of Lake Turkana' (FoLT) will send a petition to the Chinese ambassador in Kenia to stress the need for intervention.