Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Campaigners in Uganda lobby their Minister for Water and the Environment

The aim of the World Walks for Water event was to demand that politicians take action on the water and sanitation crisis whether in their own country or abroad. Here we hear about the lobbying successes of campaigners in Uganda who did a fantastic job getting their message across to newly elected government ministers.

Campaigners in Uganda presented their Minister of Water and the Environment Hon. Maria Mutagamba with a Civil Society Manifesto as part of World Water Day celebrations in the Kawempe Division. In the manifesto civil society organisations under the banner of Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET) demanded that water and sanitation becomes a top government political and funding priority as it is such a key step towards ending poverty.

World Walks for Water, Uganda
Hon. Maria Mutagamba Minister of Water and Environment receiving a Civil Society Manifesto (CSO ) from Alice Anukur the WaterAid in Uganda Country representative

In response the Minister said in her speech that:

” With the right policies and priorities safe water and sanitation for all is possible so as to deliver tangible results to people, encourage economic development and promoting stability across regions. Access to reliable supplies of clean water is a matter of human security. It is also a matter of national security. That’s why we need to accelerate our commitment and investments in hygiene and sanitation and take immediate action to increase access to improved services throughout the world. Uganda has made tremendous efforts to improve water and sanitation coverage, efforts which need to be recognised, supported and replicated. Government needs every one of us to support all efforts of redressing the legacies of the past. We encourage and call upon civil society, corporate and donor community to work with government in ensuring that these efforts come to pass.”

World Walks for Water, Uganda
The Minister makes a speech on the water and sanitation crisis to campaigners and political figures, with the CSO manifesto in hand

Tens of thousands of people across Uganda took part in the World Walks for Water event including a 50,000 strong march in the capital Kampala. Uganda is a country severely blighted by the water and sanitation crisis. Close to half of the population lives without a safe water supply.

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