We call for improved conservation and management of water supplies in order to protect the water rights for the people of Kenya. Article 43 of the Constitution states that every person has a right to clean and safe water in adequate quantities.
A research done by water organization in Kenya shows that 37 percent of Kenyans rely on unimproved water sources, for example ponds, shallow wells and rivers whereas 70 percent of Kenyans use unimproved sanitation solutions. Research shows that;
- 17.3 million lack access to safe water.
- 32.7 million lack access to improved sanitation.
- 59% of the total population lives on less than US$3.10 per day.
Democratization of water justice
Article 43 of the Constitution provides that every person has a right to a clean and safe water in adequate quantities. From the facts mentioned above, it shows that this right has not been fully realized by the people of Kenya.
Goal 6 of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) is on ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Access to water is a human right which was approved in resolutions by the UN General Assembly and UN Human Rights Council in 2010. Ensuring that access to water and sanitation is provided for all is a question of democratic politics.
We are committed in ensuring that Goal 6 is fully achieved in Kenya by ensuring that access to safe water and sanitation infrastructure to all and more importantly to those who cannot afford to pay the full cost of these services is guaranteed.
One of the major problems in achieving democratization of the water justice is commodification water and this includes privatization of water resources and water-based services. The effect of this is that it leads to conversion of natural goods into marketable private property. In Kenya, this has been seen through the rise of the bottled water industries and commodification of water has denied many Kenyan access to water. Further, in ensuring accessibility of water services to all, there is need for inclusionary societal projects rather than exclusionary projects. The later produce inequality and injustice by treating water as a commodity which should be available to only those who can afford it. We call for inclusive projects that are grounded on the principles of equality and substantive, material democracy, and which conceive access to these services to be a public good that must be guaranteed by the state.
A large population continues to lack adequate access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation facilities which has been the result of structural social injustice and inequality in Kenya. Most policy decisions in relation to water and sanitation services in Kenya have always been implemented without public participation. The practice in Kenya has been that water politics and management are rarely transparent to citizens and lack accountability. We help in ensuring that the laws and policies that are passed are presented to the public to seek their views and hence ensure public participation.