New book that engenders the human right to water in African context :
Water is Life: Women’s human rights in national and local water governance in Eastern and Southern Africa, Anne Hellum, Patricia Kameri- Mbote and Barbara van Koppen, Harare: Weaver Press 2015
The book approaches water and sanitation as an African gender and human rights issue. Empirical case studies from Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe show how coexisting international, national and local regulations of water and sanitation respond to the ways in which different groups of rural and urban women gain access to water for personal, domestic and livelihood purposes. How women – as providers of care and producers of family food – rely on water from multiple sources that are governed by community based norms and institutions which recognize the right to water for livelihood.
How these ‘common pool water resources’ – due to protection gaps in both international and national law – are threatened by large-scale development and commercialization initiatives, facilitated through national water permit systems, is a key concern. The studies demonstrate the need for water governance structures that ensure accountability to poor and vulnerable waters users on the ground, most importantly women. It underscores the need to intensify downward accountability, not just in water services provision but also to protect water for livelihoods.
The book is available from the African book collective