Water is a basic prerequisite for all forms of life on earth and is therefore of inestimable value, whether for drinking or for food production. Yet this life-sustaining resource is more endangered than ever. Through its project work and its awareness-raising and networking activities, HEKS/EPER strives to ensure that the human right of access to water is recognized, protected and implemented.
Nothing to be taken for granted
While clean water from the tap is taken for granted in Switzerland, 663 million people worldwide still lack access to water. Poor and disadvantaged people are those most affected by this shortcoming.
Their access to clean water is being threatened by the diversion of rivers to provide irrigation for single-crop farming, for dam projects and mining projects, or as a result of extensive water pollution by pesticides. Wherever there is a shortage, there will invariably be people trying to make a profit. Big corporations view water as a valuable economic asset and are promoting the privatization of water resources.
Water – a human right
In 2010 the UN declared access to water a human right. The «Declaration on the rights of peasants» adopted by the UN General Assembly at the end of 2017 also unequivocally grants rural population groups the right of access to water. The affected people themselves represent the most significant force for implementing the human right to water. The fact is that well-informed people are empowered to defend and claim their rights.
HEKS/EPER assists them in this regard. For years we have been striving, through our project work in Africa, Asia and Latin America, to improve and secure access to water, for example by building or repairing drinking water wells and agricultural irrigation systems. HEKS/EPER also secures drinking water supplies in the wake of natural disasters or in refugee camps.
Blue Community – an international network
Set up in 2010, the Blue Community is an international network of civil society organizations and public institutions committed to the realization of the human right to water as a public good. It was created as a tool for implementing the human right of access to water approved by the UN General Assembly. Membership is open to political communes, church communities and organizations.
HEKS has been a Blue Community member since 2017 and promotes the Community’s causes through its networking activities. Interested groups and individuals may contact HEKS/EPER regarding questions of Blue Community membership.
Are you interested?
Tel.: +41 44 360 88 81