Mobilising rural people to demand their wash rights from aspiring duty-bearers in Zambia.

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  • Maboshe
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  • Executive Director of the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC)
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Mobilising rural people to demand their wash rights from aspiring duty-bearers in Zambia.

Access to water and sanitation are recognized by the United Nations as human rights, reflecting the fundamental nature of these basics in every person’s life.

Over4.8 million people in Zambia do not have access to clean water and 6.6 million people lack access to sanitation. Where such facilities do exist, mainly in rural areas, the majority of residents usually have to travel long distances to draw water for their daily household needs.

According to the 2018 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey, Western province ranks poorly. The under-five mortality rate is the country’s highest at 110 deaths per 1,000 live births compared to the national average of 61 deaths per 1,000 live births; anemia in children (aged 6-59 months) is the highest in the country at 71% compared to the national average of 58%; stunting in children under-five is second highest at 45% compared to the national average of 35%; and only 58% of people in rural areas have access to safe water while only 37% have access to safe sanitaion with 16% of people living without a toilet.

Lack of access to safe, sufficient and affordable water, sanitation and hygiene facilities has a devastating effect on the health, dignity and prosperity of billions of people, and has significant consequences for the realization of other human rights.

This crisis is completely preventable – but those in power are not doing enough to stop it.

§  THE RIGHT TO WATER entitles everyone to have access to sufficient,§safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use.

§  THE RIGHT TO SANITATION entitles§ everyone to have physical and affordable access to sanitation, in all spheres of life, that is safe, hygienic, secure, and socially and culturally acceptable and that provides privacy and ensures dignity.

Elections are one of the few times when we, as ordinary citizens, have the ears of the politicians and can raise our voices to tell them what matters to us most.

We WASH campaigners in Zambia will decided to target the candidates during the 2021 presidential, parliamentary and local government elections, and invited them to WASH pledge postcards meeting.

We aim to get commitments on water and sanitation in each of the party’s manifestos.

These are important documents - they contain the promises that political parties make to the voters on what they will do if elected. This is a way of exposing them to the WASH challenges and gaining both radio and TV coverage.

The campaign will succeed in securing a commitment to priorities funding and service delivery in the WASH sector.

AIM: for all Zambians to have access to sanitation and clean water

Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) will engage duty-bearers and rights-holders to work together for the common good of humanity. In the advent of Covid-19 we escalate our efforts to support and mobilize children and community gatekeepers to demand their water rights from duty-bearers.

In Western province, Zambia Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) will run a popular mobilization campaign on printed WASH pledge postcards for candidates to sign with questions for presidential, parliamentarians and local government duty office bears. These printed WASH pledge postcards will be sent to (mostly rural) communities where people with no access to clean safe water and sanitation are encouraged to fill in the card and choose whether send it to a journalist, a political party or presidential or parliamentarians or local government duty office bears, the WASH campaigners organizers will collect the postcards and passed them on to the chosen target.

The postcard campaign will raise awareness amongst communities of their power as voters, and about who was responsible for water and sanitation provision. It will also demonstrate to politicians that giving priority to WASH could be a vote winner, so preparing the ground for future elections.

We need the support on joining hands by working together to end the water and sanitation crisis in Zambia.

Issued by the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC)
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