One in every three people in the world doesn’t have access to safe drinking water
Nearly 4 billion people don’t have access to proper sanitation (WHO 2013)
Since only 3% of all Earth’s water is fresh water, it is a global resource of great strategic and commercial value (National Centre for Scientific Research, France)
The United Nations July 2010 resolution recognises the human right to water and sanitation
Nearly all countries in the global South have privatised the management of water. The right to water is being denied. Instead, it’s being turned into a commodity that has to be bought. (The Europe Third World Centre – CETIM).
In Africa, Emmaus International has set up a community-run water access programme on Lake Nokoué in southern Benin. Local people appealed to the Emmaus organisation there for our movement’s help. It was then revealed that out of 70,000 people living around Lake Nokoué, only 10% had access to drinking water and 2% had access to sanitation.
Together, the local people and Emmaus set up the ‘Citizens in Solidarity for Water on Nokoué’ project in 2006, which will reach completion in 2015. As well as giving the whole lake population access to water and sanitation, the project has included the creation of a water users’ organisation, so the facilities are managed by the public sector and local community.
- Asia: Kudumbam, India
Water access programme in 3 villages
- The Americas: Emmaus Uruguay
Campaign for a national referendum to ban the privatisation of water
- Africa: Benebnooma, Burkina Faso
Between 2005 and 2010, 4 village wells dug
- Europe: Pointe Rouge, France
Co-organiser of the Alternative World Water Forum in 2012
FIND OUT MORE
- To support and find out more about community-run water initiatives (in French only)
FOLLOW THE CAMPAIGNS
- Results of the European Citizens’ Initiative for the right to water
- Civil society’s alternative solutions around the world:
See the Alternative World Water Forum website
Joseph Oké Zannou,
committee member of the water users’ organisation
In December 2013, Joseph Oké Zannou became secretary of the Lake Nokoué water users’ organisation, which manages Emmaus International’s projects. “I’m involved in primary school development work for the local authorities. I wanted to take part in the water users’ organisation as it’s helping to develop our communities. Our role is to ensure the facilities are well managed, to monitor the works and test the water quality. The lake population is the focus of the programme, because it needs to take ownership of it, maintain and make it sustainable.”