SAARC leaders to act on human rights to WASH to ensure dignity of marginalized people

23 Nov 2014 | Press release

Right to Sanitation Campaign in South Asia calls on 18th SAARC Summit to advocate that SDG process should include dedicated goal for realization of human rights to water and sanitation for all.

It also calls to SAARC Governments to develop and implement on regional framework of action for immediate realization of human rights to water and sanitation for all in South Asia. They urged for protection of people's control over water resources and curb privatization of water resources and services.

The calls came out at a side event of People's SAARC at Jawalakhel Staff College on Sunday. At the programme, people from across the region shared their pain and experiences on the issue. RCCT coordinator Rabin Lal Shrestha, Regional Convener of Freshwater Action Network South Asia (FANSA) R.Murali, Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) steering committee member Dibalok Singha, coordinator of End Water Poverty (EWP) Esmee Russels set out the scene in the seminar.

During the event Amrita Gywali and Durga Sob from Nepal, Bezwada Wilson and Ransigh Parmar from India shared their experiences of inequality and deprivation of WASH rights of marginalized people in the region. Dr Abdul Matin from People's SAARC Water Forum discussed on the event about importance to WASH in human development.

The panelists called on the governments of all SAARC countries to immediately identify marginalized and excluded communities, develop appropriate programmes and allocate required resources to ensure access to safe water and sanitation for them. Elimination of all forms of manual scavenging has also been discussed to ensure dignity of the people associated with it.

Saira Iftekhar MP of Pakistan assured to take forward the issue of human rights to WASH under legislation at their own country. Head of Region of WaterAid Tom Palakudiyil said, "Water and Sanitation for all can only be achieved in this region if individual government can ensure human rights to WASH focusing the most marginalized communities."