Press release -
#ClaimYourWateRights : Action against water poverty in Enugu, Nigeria
Water Action Month, a month-long annual campaign organised by a coalition of NGOs takes place in March, with the peak of the campaign time to coincide with United Nations world water day. World Water Day this year is on the 22nd of March 2021. Water Action Month, is led and coordinated internationally by London based charity; End Water Poverty.
Water Action Month has a new theme each year, but in 2021, the previous years theme; #ClaimYourWaterRighs was continued as this year’s theme. With Hope Spring Water continuing the pivotal role it #ClaimYourWaterRights campaign in Nigeria.
Enugu the epicentre of #ClaimYourWaterRights in Nigeria
There is no gainsaying that residents of Enugu State, Nigeria have had more than a fair share of water poverty. A condition that has made the once, regional capital of South-Eastern Nigeria, an unappealing place to live. This ordeal has lingered for ages, with a sustainable way out, proving elusive for past governments.
Most Enugu residents rely on water from hand-dug wells and water tankers to meet their daily water needs. In dry seasons, the wells dry up and the scarcity bites harder. A recurring cycle that the residents are still unable to adapt to. Therefore, it is no longer surprising to see the hashtag #EnuguWaterScarcity and #NoWaterInEnugu repeatedly trending on social media during the dry season, with the latter recently topping the trend list on twitter.
In the quest to find a sustainable solution to the water poverty situation in Enugu State, a group of thirteen vibrant youth-led civil society organizations, led by Hope Spring Water Charity Foundation has adopted the human rights approach, under a global advocacy campaign initiated by End Water Poverty and tagged, #ClaimYourWaterRights. The campaign, which leverages on the fact that access to clean drinking water is a FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT, has been mobilizing and sensitizing Enugu residents to know and demand their human rights to water. The Claim-Your-Water-Rights Team has also been engaging the state government and mandated water service providers to find lasting solutions to water poverty in the state, as this condition grossly violates people’s rights.
The month of March is Water Action Month, which offers another leapfrog opportunity to advocate for prioritization of water supply to everyone, everywhere. In leaving no one behind, including residents of Enugu state, the Claim-Your-Water-Rights team is organizing a roundtable discussion, which is designed to provide a platform for key stakeholders to discuss the challenges, progress and chart the way forward in ensuring Enugu residents have access to clean drinking water.
According to Temple Oraeki, the Campaign Coordinator, “The violation of people’s rights to water has lingered for so long in Enugu State and it’s time to take action for water beyond rhetoric.”
This Roundtable Discussion, scheduled to hold on 16 March 2021, provides an avenue for a ‘heart-to-heart’ talk and sets the pace for key actions on Water Supply in Enugu State. The discussants are drawn from the State Ministry of Water Resources, Enugu State Water Corporation, Water Tankers Association, National Human Rights Commission, Enugu State House Committee on Water, Community Leaders and Civil Society Organizations.
It is expected that at the end of the workshop, there will be a common understanding from the government, private water suppliers and the consumers (public) about the different challenges facing water supply in Enugu State and the progress made so far. The key outcome from the workshop would be the development of an Action Plan that proffers practical solutions, with streamlined responsibilities for every stakeholder. The workshop would benefit both the government and the public in making sure that clean drinking water is readily available to the people of Enugu State.
You can follow updates on the workshop using the hashtags #ClaimYourWaterRights or #EnuguWaterRights. You can also follow via the workshop webpage - https://www.hopespring.org.uk/nigeria/ or Hope Spring Nigeria Facebook page.
Hope Spring Water charity’s ecard website was set up, so that its users can send donation ecards to their family, friends or colleagues and donate what it would have cost them to send a traditional printed card to Hope Spring.