Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) on Friday called on the leadership of the National Assembly to immediately drop the illegal Water Resources 2020 bill, which requires Nigerians to obtain a permit before sinking a borehole in their homes.
The bill also states, among others, that “the use of water shall be subject to licencing provisions.” The group said that “the licence can be withdrawn on flimsy grounds.”
SERAP said restricting access of Nigerians to clean water at a time millions of people were drinking contaminated water, and the country was bracing for the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, was not only unconstitutional but also immoral.
SERAP further stated that rather than addressing severe water crisis and improving access of Nigerians facing daily challenges just to access safe water for drinking and hygiene, the National Assembly was pushing to take away Nigerians’ fundamental human right to clean water.
It added that “Nigeria has ratified numerous human rights treaties that contain obligations related to water and sanitation, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.”
SERAP said Nigerian authorities had international legal obligations to respect Nigerians’ right to water, and to ensure sufficient, safe, and accessible water and the highest attainable standard of health at all times.
SERAP said it would challenge the illegality in court should the bill ever be passed into law.