Community Water Alliance joins the rest of world in commemorating the Day of African Child. It is a day which has memories of the role played by young people in advancing social and economic justice. A day young men and women are remembered as ambassadors of justice.
In the water sector, we celebrate the day while young people and children carry the burden of fetching water from boreholes and wells. Children in rural areas travel long distances to fetch water and in urban areas like Mabvuku, they spent hours queuing at boreholes for water. In some instances like Southerly Park they drown in wells and lose life.
Community Water Alliance make 16 demands that our government should fulfill for young people in the water sector. The demands are as follows:
- Remove economic and social barriers that prevent equitable access to water by households headed by young people.
- Improve water supply at schools.
- Improve access to water in informal settlements.
- Address social norms assigning the “job” of collecting water to young people & older people priority in using water.
- Ensuring education especially for girls take priority over traditional household chores of fetching water.
- Providing sufficient water for lactating women.
- Increasing national fiscal commitment to water and sanitation beyond the paltry 2,5%.
- Address policy issues on affordability of water by scrapping off privatization, commoditization and commercialization overtones echoed through Zimbabwe Is Open For Business mantra and Section 1.3.2 of the 2013 National Water Policy.
- Protecting & respecting (as mandated by Section 44 of the constitution) human right to water for children by abolishing SI 164 of 1913 & pre-payment gaffe on water.
- Align water laws with the constitution and take into account the best interests of the child principle in Zimbabwean policy, law and regulations on water.
- Design of water infrastructure that is sensitive to needs of young persons with disabilities.
- Ensure future generations have guaranteed access to water by implementing recommendations contained in the June 2018 Parliament Report on Wetlands Petitions, that is: Establish Environmental Commission in the manner of Independent Commissions by January 2019.
- Constitute National Environmental Council as required by law by July 2018.
- Establish Environmental Tribunal to investigate violations of environmental laws by July 2018.
- Ensure access to information by scrapping off both restrictions to inspection only of Environmental Impact Assessment reports and the $300 inspection fees.
- Map all wetlands with expert input and their territorial footprint legislated by end of July 2018.
Source: Community Water Alliance