By Cecil Mensah
Water has been described as a common resource, but an issue of human right in terms of access to the consumers across the world.
This description of water came to the fore at the First Water Citizens National Forum (FWCNF), organised by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) and sponsored by the European Union.
The forum brought together Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and members of the various community platforms affected by pollution, the forum was on the theme: “Achieving Implementation of the Human Right to Water in Ghana: Threats Opportunities and Recommendation”
According to the forum, the human right to water, has not become a commitment of the international community in the post 2015, for intransigent position of some states, five years after the United Nations (UN) resolution that water and social movements, have become a new international mobilizations.
The forum is hereby fighting and protesting against natural resource grabbing, especially in water and land grabbing of common resources and the systematic violations of the associated human rights.
The forum organized in collaboration with COSPE, an Italian Non -Governmental Organization (NGO) want to promote an international campaign in order to effectively strengthen the human right to water ,sanitation and prevent all form of water grabbing in the country.
Mr Bishop Akalgo, Executive Director of ISODEC, welcoming the participants at the forum, said similar discussions were made in the early 1990s to draw the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) attention against the privatization of water.
He said, without a clear strategy, CSOs were not able to win the debate that water was a right, rather than a commodity.
He called on the participants to find a clear definition that water just like Air cannot be a commodity.
He said, the human body contains 70 percent of water and it is next to Air, indicating that water, cannot be made a commodity, particularly in Africa.
On his part, Mr Herve Desol , a Director at the European Union (EU), said the EU has declared the year 2015, as the EU year of celebrating development based on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
He explained 50 percent of the population of Ghana, have access to potable water, despite these successes 40 percent of population die every year as a results of sanitation related diseases.
Ghana still use water from unsafe sources and the activities of small scale mining continue to pollute water bodies in regions where water has become scarce, he maintained
He said, Ghana and its development partners were committed to the citizens for safe water project.
In related interview, Mr Leonard Shang- Quartey, Policy Analyst of ISODEC, said CSOs in the water sector, need to work as a single unit, thereby delinking urban
water from rural water.
He said, a lot more attention has gone on in the urban water than rural water.
He noted in spite of all these, Ghana has made gains in achieving the MRS goals in relation to water.
He added Ghana Water Company Limited is currently doing 80 percent urban water and 70 percent rural water in collaboration with the Community Water and Sanitation Agency.
He said one of the major obstacles to the principles of right to water is the activities of water grabbing that led to countries scrabbling to control the management of water resources.