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Human right to water does not entitle people to free water - Minister of Water Resources
| April 12, 2013
The Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, in a meeting to discuss the effective implementation of the right to water, attempted to clear what she called misconceptions on a citizen's right to water. She said that the Federal Government cannot provide free water for Nigerians and is only required to ensure that water and sanitation are available, accessible, safe, acceptable and affordable for all without discrimination. She was responding to criticism from civil society groups and non-governmental organisations, NGOs, who had criticized the inability of the Federal Government to provide adequate portable water for Nigerians, especially those living in slums. The minister said, “I want to clear misconceptions on human right to water. The right does not entitle people to free water, but affordable water and sanitation services. The right also does not allow for unlimited use of water but sufficient water for personal and domestic uses in a sustainable manner. “Finally, the right does not entitle everyone to household connection, but the water and sanitation facilities need to be within or in the immediate vicinity of the household.” She also asked states and local governments formulate their water policies, laws and strategies, with a view to enhance the human right to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.

(4) Comment


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"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
Donia O. Ogbewe (Caleb University)    Lagos State, Nigeria    April 14, 2013
Good things in Nigeria are meant for the rich people. We are not asking the government to make water free, All we ask is to make the resources available. I love Nigerians because they find solution themselves whether good or bad they decided to drill wells or boreholes in their houses.
Akin    ,     April 12, 2013
This woman just made a very slick statement and she ought to be ashamed! She must have really proven that women folks indeed are no any better in leadership. If the rights does not guarantee barely sufficient water for all, then why is she on the government (or taxpayer's) payroll as the minister of water resources? She should have either kept quiet or remained in her obvious unpopularity!
"Coming In From The Cold"    In California, U.S.A.    April 12, 2013
There is no misconception here, Mrs. Minister of Water Resources. Who is asking the government to make water free? Did we ever ask that electricity be free too? All we ask is that you make these resources available. But can you?

The fact is, just like the government is not making electricity available, you are also not making potable water available. Now, in Nigeria, most people have to drill regular wells or boreholes, which cost them a lot of money upfront and to maintain, and this water may not be clean or good enough for drinking due to contamination of aquifers. Believe it or not, we are rapidly destroying our groundwater in Nigeria and it’s going to hunt and hurt us later in the future unless we put a stop to it.

Because there is no government control or rule in how or where we drill and place our wells, people are even drilling close to their cemented underground septic holes (not tanks), called soak-away. Water from these septic holes seeps into underground aquifers from which we draw our drinking water. Na God dey save us for this country – typhoid here I come.

Don’t you think people would prefer that government rig up clean potable water lines close to their homes for them to tap into, as it used to be in the past?

We have too many problems in this country which arise primarily from endemic corruption and then lazy-mindedness. It seems that we cannot handle processes or procedures that are painstaking and methodical. Ours is a quickie, “gbosa-gbosa” way, like cash-and-carry.

Oh well, “na God go save us for this country”, even though I believe the solution must come from us human beings. It can be done, but who shall we send and how shall we do it?
AOS    Lagos, Nigeria    April 12, 2013
There was once a Federal Minister who claimed that telephone was not for everybody, meaning that it was only for the rich. Is this minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in that ilk, that good water is not meant for everybody, but for those who can afford it? No condition is permanent o!
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