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Filing complaints of violations of the right to drinking water: a guide

April 17, 2015 by   ·   No comments

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Violations of the right to drinking water in all the governorates of Egypt continuously take place in different shapes, whether in terms of access to water, water quality or cost. And in some cases their right to water is even violated on all levels, both in terms of access to water, water quality or cost. This is the case in the majority of rural villages which have no access to water, or in villages which totally depend on groundwater that is contaminated with sewage.
Right to water violations adversely affect many of the fundamental rights of citizens such as the right to health, employment, education and housing. Citizens decry these abuses in the complaints they sent to Habi and to newspapers and news websites, but they are formulated in the words of ordinary citizens without mention legal grounds, making clear demands that are linked to the violation and fail to reach and influence the decision makers.
We thus decided to write a guide on how to formulate a complaint on violations of the right to drinking water and sanitation, but this guide can similarly serve as a guide on how to formulate other complaints against environmental right violations.,
This is also an interactive guide, between Habi and all citizens, and we hope that as citizens’ experience on this issue grows, citizens will share their experiences and expertise in filing these complaints and as a result show different agencies dealt with these complaints.
We’ll try to follow up on this guide through discussions and questionnaires with activists, natural leaders, NGOs and experts. And based on this, we’ll adapt the guide and add the items that are missing and needed by those citizens who seek to enjoy the right to drinking water and sanitation
The guide is only available in Arabic; please download it here:
The guide sets out the following steps to write a complaint:

First, identify the violation:
Second, determine the economical, social and health impacts of this violation:
Third, based on the type of violation, determine which authorities are responsible:

  • First, in the case of lack of access to drinking water:
  1.  The lack of stations and networks of water
  2. In the case of the existence of stations and networks, but do not reach the water on a regular basis (ie it up intermittently two hours during the day or two days a week or a few days during the month)
  3. In the case of accidental drop of drinking water (ie, water comes on an ongoing basis, but sometimes an interruption happens:
  • Second, in the case of contamination of drinking water (ie, water is unfit for human use):
  • Third, in the case of the increase in the cost of drinking water, whether high or rising prices of the bill introducing water or other costs:

Fourth: even if the complaint shows a big violation and has a big impact, it is still necessary for the complaint to have a legal basis by showing that this is a violation of the citizen’s rights to drinking water:
Fifth: Formulate the demands as clear as possible and link them to the violation
Sixth: Write a good conclusion to the complaint and set out a time limit

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