News / 13 September 2012

Both ENDS' Tobias Schmitz on Ugandan television

The human right to water and sanitation is a topical theme. A workshop which was recently held on this right in Uganda, even got the attention of the Ugandan television. Tobias Schmitz, programme officer at Both ENDS and co-organizer of the workshop, was interviewed by them.

Nearly 800 million people lack access to clean water and over 2.5 billion people have no acces to sanitation. Every day thousands of children alone die of water-related diseases such as typhoid and cholera. For years Both ENDS has been working for the recognition of the right to water and sanitation together with its Dutch partner Simavi and international partners FAN and COHRE. After all the human right to water and sanitation is just as obvious as the human right to food, income, shelter and education.

First important step
The first major victory was in 2010, when the UN recognised the right to water and sanitation as a human right. Now that the recognition is a fact, it is of great importance that this right be embedded into laws and regulations at a local, regional, national and international level. Only then can local communities really benefit from the recognition of the right to water and sanitation.

What does this recognition mean?
It would also be useful if civil society organisations and policy makers would be given more information about the rights and obligations the recognition by the UN brings about. Therefore Ugandan organisations NAPE (National Association of Professional Environmentalists) and NAWAD (National Association for Women's Action in Development), organised a workshop on this theme with the support of Both ENDS. During the workshop also the results of a recently conducted study on the right to water and sanitation in Uganda were shared and a political debate took place.

Declaration signed
Various national media took interest in the workshop. About 60 delegates from 26 Ugandan NGOs and two universities were present, who jointly signed a statement in which attention is drawn to the problems around water and sanitation in Uganda. Both ENDS signed and supports this statement and will continue to fight for the worldwide implementation and compliance of the human right to water and sanitation.



The joint statement

The Right to Water and Sanitation




photo: Sustainable sanitation's photostream on Flickr

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