The Sovereign Order of Malta co-sponsored a side event titled ‘Water Action and Human Rights: Implementing the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation at the Local Level’. The side event took place on March 24th and was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany. Co-sponsors included the Permanent Mission of Spain, WASH United, End Water Poverty, Make Rights Real, African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation, Redes del Agua Latinoamérica, Sanitation and Water for All, Spanish Development NGO Network and the German WASH Network. The thematic focus of the event addressed the practical restoration of human rights to water and sanitation. These human rights are at the core of SDG 6 and must form part of the solutions discussed for the Water Action Agenda. The event showcased voices from local government institutions and local communities. A panel of experts discussed actions that should be taken to support the fundamental human right of access to water and sanitation.
Mr. Arno Coerver, Global WASH Advisor for Malteser International, highlighted various approaches to motivate leaders in local governments to make more meaningful progress, using human rights principle. He said that: ‘With years of experience in the WASH sector, Malteser International, WASH United and GTO have developed a program concept of a new methodology that combines both MRR and WASH systems Strengthening.’ Whilst MRR aims to motivate leaders in local governments to make more meaningful progress using human rights principles, WASH systems strengthen existing programs and develops roadmaps for improvement. He further mentioned that the Global WASH Program aims to improve WASH services for under-served populations in Jodhpur, India, by partnering with UNNATI and two rural municipalities in Nepal under the partner agency RSDC. In Uganda, the program includes the development of District WASH Plans that are integrating human rights.