Social Economic Rights and Accountability Project has called on the National Assembly to drop what it described as “Illegal Water Resources Bill 2020” which requires Nigerians to obtain a permit before sinking a borehole in their homes. SERAP said the bill is not only unconstitutional but also immoral.
In a statement obtained by ElombahNews, SERAP said, “We call on the leadership of the National Assembly to immediately drop the illegal Water Resources 2020, 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 The licence can be withdrawn on flimsy grounds”.
“Restricting access of Nigerians to clean water at a time millions of people are drinking contaminated water, and the country is bracing for the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, is not only unconstitutional but also immoral”.
SERAP also called it a textbook case of crimes against humanity and will challenge the illegality in court.
“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 is pushing to take away Nigerians’ fundamental human right to clean water”.
“Yet, 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”.
“Nigerian authorities have 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”.
“We’ll challenge this illegality in court should the bill ever be passed into law”.