Minority Right Group International holds media Launch of Africa report on water

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Water
Water

The Minority Rights Group International (MRG,) has held a media Launch for the release of an African report on Minority and Indigenous Trends 2023 – focus on water in Nairobi Kenya.

The report presented over 35 case studies on various communities in Africa and challenges affecting their access to water and how the impact of climate change affected them.

Some areas that have been heavily impacted which the case studies featured in the report were the Lake Bogoria, along the rift Valley, that kept rising over the years, disrupting the eco system and making the Endorois community suffer displacement as a result of the rising levels of the floods.

The African challenges which were spelt out in the case studies, were reiterated in a press release read by Mr Billy Rwothungeyo, the Africa Media Officer of Minority Rights Group International.

It identified the lack of investments for boreholes for the Namibian Indigenous people of South Africa leading to a struggle by the people in accessing the scarce water in their area of abode.

Other environmental challenges mentioned in the report were the Nigeria’s Delta region’s pollution from the country’s oil industry that posed unending threat to the livelihoods of the indigenous people. “Pollution from the Ogoniland by petroleum hydrocarbons has filtered through the soil layers and contaminated even the ground water systems “, the release stated.

Mr. Rwothungeyo said the Niger conflict had caused an excruciating water scarcity and was further causing conflict between indigenous people of Niger and the Fulani people who are traditional pastoralists and always at loggerheads with croppers over water rights along the Komadugu River and Lake Chad.

“Mass killings and protracted cycles of revenge have become common place in the region yet the position of Fulani herders remain obscured by public perceptions, marred by negative stereotypes, discrimination and hate”.

Ms. Christine Kande, the Executive Director, Endaas Indigenous Women Empowerment Network (EWEN), shared the difficulties of the Endorois community due to the rising levels of the Bogoria Lake, causing displacements and evictions of the people.

She urged the government to take the initiative to help communities to come out from their predicament by helping farmers to be able to work on their farms to enhance food security.

She said the rising water levels expanded its boundaries by 60 kilometers square and suggested that the excess water could be pumped for irrigation purposes and also called on government to take the department of livestock seriously by improving access to market for their livestock .

She urged communities to be proactive to climate solutions, by planting trees and other restorative activities.

Meanwhile the Minority and Indigenous Trends report 2023 made some recommendations for considerations by governments to uphold every person’s fundamental right to safe drinking water and sanitation, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, national, social or geographical origin, disability, birth or any other status.

It also called on the Governments to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place to ensure the fulfillment of the rights of all people, which includes water points that are accessible to persons with disabilities, collection of wastewater and water treatment facilities, and where necessary establish minimum adequate standards for safe drinking water and ensure secure supplies for all, without discrimination.

The report also recommended that adequate provision for emergency water supplies be made ahead of time, minimize pollution through the adoption and strict implementation of regulations governing polluters and victims of pollution should be able to seek redress through legal proceedings, including compensation and penalties for violations.

It urged Governments to provide adequate, long-term investment in water infrastructure, including its maintenance whist taking a human rights-based approach for any project involving water and sanitation.

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