The Freshwater Action Newsletter no.2 December 2002
FAN AT THE WSSD AUGUST 2002
Welcome to the first edition The 2002 WSSD was a ten-year review of progress made
of the FAN newsletter. FAN since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. The WSSD mandate was to
was formed after the Bonn produce ‘specific time bound measures to be undertaken’.
Freshwater Conference and is There were so many issues and not enough time which meant
working with its members to that governments, many of which lacked sufficient vision and
strengthen civil society’s
political will, did not manage to commit themselves to some
participation in international
water policy formulation. We
of the key issues.
hope that this quarterly
newsletter provides your
The main success was that all governments agreed to a new
organization with an update target to halve the proportion of people without access to
on FAN’s activities and those basic adequate sanitation by 2015 and all confirmed they
of its members. would develop plans for integrated water resource
management and water efficiency by 2005 with support to
This issue will update you on developing countries. There was an agreement to launch a
FAN’s activities at the programme of actions, with financial and technical assistance,
WaterDome at the WSSD, to achieve the millennium development goal on safe drinking
and will look forward to the
water’, this would halve the proportion of people unable to
next international meeting –
the Third World Water Forum
reach or to afford safe drinking water by 2015.
in Kyoto, Japan. It will also be
looking at the issue of ‘right These successes were accompanied by a number of
to water’ in light of the recent disappointments. There was no agreement on management of
UN announcement that transboundary rivers, no mention of polluter-pays principle,
water is now recognized mention or support for the World Commission on Dams
as a human right. Finally, in recommendations, no agreed indicators for monitoring the
each issue we will interview a use and pollution of water resources, no prioritisation for
different FAN member about expenditure targeted at the poor, no recognition that water is
their main interests and a common resource, and finally, no recognition that water is a
research areas and their
basic human right.
plans for the future. Turn to
the back page to see this
FAN’s activities were based in the WaterDome. Here we
issues interview with Society
for Water & Public Health coordinated a large exhibition space and meeting room – the
Protection (SWAPHEP) who Thirst World – where 40 NGOs from all over the world came
are based in Nigeria and who to exhibit, meet and participate in the WaterDome workshops.
are currently involved in a As well as exhibiting, FAN members held a full programme of
campaign on Dams. very interesting meetings.
We hope that you find this Overall this project was a success in that it managed to bring
issue both helpful and together a quality group of NGOs, from all regions, and
interesting – FAN. representing both large international organisations to smaller,
younger local NGOs. The range of issues represented was
diverse and the quality of experience the participants brought
to the WaterDome was very high.
For more information please see FAN WSSD webpages.
LOOKING FORWARD TO KYOTO perhaps we can work out how to use the
Kyoto meeting strategically.
The Japanese government is hosting the 3rd
World Water Forum (3WWF), a Ministerial DIALOGUES PRESENTED IN KYOTO
Conference and a World Water Fair in Kyoto The dialogue on Water and Poverty
from the 16th-23rd March. The hope is that it organised by the Asian Development Bank
will stimulate global awareness of water looks into the productive and environmental
problems and to continue the policy uses of water and also sanitation and
debates. hygiene promotion. One its main focuses is
to raise public awareness about poverty and
The organizers of the Forum have adopted 3
its linkages to the management of water
guiding principles for the event: That the
resources, the delivery of water services and
forum will be open to all, that it will evolve
the overall water security of poor people.
from being based on participation to being
created through participation and that it The dialogue on Water Food and
forum will work to translate visions into Environment aims to ‘Improve water
concrete actions. FAN believes that there resources management for food security
are two barriers to achieving these and environmental sustainability with a
principles, these are cost and confusion. The special focus on the reduction of poverty
cost of attending the Forum prevents it from and hunger and the improvement of human
being an open event. FAN itself does not health’. This dialogue is being coordinated
have a budget to support NGO participation by a number of big international agencies
as happened at previous events. However including IWMI and UNEP.
there is a competition being run by the
World Water Council to sponsor 100 NGOs The ‘Camedessus’ Panel on Financing
‘working at the grassroots’ to attend Kyoto. Water Infrastructure coordinated by the
This information has been emailed to FAN World Water Council and Global Water
members and is on the website with any Partnership to make recommendations on
other funding opportunities we can find. financing the commitment made at the
WSSD to halve the proportion of people
3WWF is an important milestone for FAN without safe water and sanitation by 2015.
and its members. We will hold an
international NGO briefing and strategy The dialogue on Water and Climate looks
meeting in the afternoon of 15th March in at the relationship between global warming
Kyoto city centre, before the Conference and its impact on the hydrological cycle that
opens on 16th March. This meeting will has provoked debate and political
provide a comprehensive overview of the negotiations under the United Nations
agenda and the policy debates from an Framework Convention on Climate Change.
‘NGO’ perspective in order to strengthen
your participation and influence during the FAN is also involved in the Regional Days at
Forum and Ministerial. FAN will also the Forum. There will be one region
facilitate NGO strategy meetings each discussed on each day of the conference.
morning in the Kyoto Conference Centre and
ACTION FOR FAN MEMBERS. Apply for
several advocacy skills training sessions
funding to the World Water Action
during the Forum (dates to be confirmed).
Competition. Get involved in the various
It is FAN’s belief that for more effective and themes and regional days in Kyoto please
stronger NGO participation at Kyoto and its consult the FAN website for more
follow-up, members should begin to share information and details of who to contact. If
their information on key policy meetings; your organization is planning to go or would
background information to debates; their like to go to the Third World Water Forum
advocacy objectives at Kyoto and together please let us know.
RIGHT TO WATER The right to water is a useful advocacy tool,
giving FAN and its members a strong and
2003 will be the UN International Year of legitimate base. Of course, it will not be an
Freshwater. To mark this, and rectify the instant solution to the problem of
lack of specific and explicit reference to a inadequate water provision. We must
right to water in the original UN Declaration continue to look at the bigger picture and be
of Human Rights, the human right to water concerned with why certain communities do
was announced on the 29th November. It is not have access to adequate water, for
formed in a general comment on the right to example within rural areas the difficulties in
food and the right to health, which now collecting water, particularly for the elderly,
include the right to water. It stresses that disabled and women. Within urban areas the
water is a limited natural resource and problems of illegal squatters being denied
public commodity. access to public services. Thus, although the
problem is access to water, the solution lies
In summary this puts an obligation on in deeper development issues, such as
governments party to the Covenant on community support in rural areas, land
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to rights in urban areas – as the right to water
progressively extend access to sufficient, can not be separated from the right to land
affordable, accessible and safe water – and the more general issue of equality of
supplies and to safe sanitation. Where rights between men and women.
there is a specific barrier to access to water,
such as when people are refused access on Useful websites for more information
the basis that they live in illegal settlements, www.wateraid.org.uk (WaterAid)
governments have a responsibility to www.cesr.org/PROGRAMS/water.htm
remove the barrier or ensure access by (Centre of Economic and Social rights)
other means, for all their citizens, without www.cohre.org (Centre on Housing
A major point of debate during the INTERNATIONAL CALENDER
negotiations on the ‘right to water’ was its
relationship with ‘water as an economic UN International Year of Freshwater 2003
resource’ (outlined in the Dublin Principles). www.un.org/events/ref41.htm
They concluded that supporting the right to
water does not imply that water should be January
provided free of charge. It has not been 2-7 Hyderabad, India. Asian Social
interpreted as a ‘free right’; just as there is Forum (World Social Forum India)
no such assumption about food, medical 23-28 PortoAlegre, Brazil. World Social
care, housing and social services. Forum
Consequently, the recognition of water as a
right is not in conflict with water being March
understood as an economic good. The 4-6 Washington DC, USA World Bank Water
difference now is that states are legally Week
obliged to ensure that water for the 22 International World Water Day
purposes of drinking and sanitation are 16-23 Kyoto, Shiga & Osaka, Japan
affordable for everyone and that pricing of 3rd World Water Forum
water does not compromise other basic www.worldwaterforum.org
needs. The right to water suggests that any
group or person denied the right to For more information on events please
adequate water should have access to legal consult the Fan website.
remedies and compensation.
CONTACT FAN MEMBERS PAGE
FAN was pleased to be able to interview SWAPHEP - Society
for Water & Public Health Protection for this first issue of our
newsletter. SWAPHEP is based in Nigeria and was founded in
1998 with a mission to ensure that every Nigerian has access
to adequate clean water that meets their demands and that
Nigeria's fresh water resources are managed in the most
FAN is based at sustainable way.
WaterAid in London at
the following address: Fan asked Hope Ogbeide, SWAPHEP’s Director, the following
c/o WaterAid What is your current policy/research issue?
Prince Consort House The campaign on Dams is one of our main focus areas.
27-29 Albert SWAPHEP’s believes that the use of dams for water supply,
Embankment energy generation, agriculture etc, must be done through an
London informed, and negotiated process with the needs of local
SE1 7UB peoples being the driving force. The government should not
decide what they think the people need instead, they must
Telephone: consult with people to ascertain their needs. People must be
+44 (0) 20 7793 4522 adequately informed about the positive and negative impacts
of dams. SWAPHEP affirms its belief in the final report of the
Fax: World Commission on Dams and also the importance of water
+44 (0) 20 7793 4545 as a human right.
Email: Current activities include field research on the impact of dams
info@freshwateraction. on the environment and people of Nigeria using a case study
net of Okhoro and Ojerami dams in Edo State.
Website: Can you please share with us SWAHPEP’s experiences
www.freshwateraction. at the WaterDome.
net The WaterDome was the biggest water event we have ever
attended, it afforded members of SWAPHEP the rare
opportunity of meeting members of FAN. We were able to
establish new partnerships, strengthen existing ones and
increase/strengthen capacity for financial support from donor
agencies. We have also been able to improve our negotiating
and campaign skills and begin new projects. Hence the
WaterDome experience for SWAPHEP is one that cannot be
forgotten in a hurry.
Can you briefly outline SWAPHEP’s plans for the
We hope to attend the Third World Water Forum in March
2003 and be at World Water Week/Stockholm Water
Symposium in August 2003. We also hope to participate in
major international, national and local water dialogues and
For more details of SWAPHEP’s past and present activities
visit their website www.swaphep.virtualactivism.org.