According to the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), the Constitution of Namibia provides for the right to human dignity, and part of this right is access to safe, sufficient and affordable water. However, this right goes hand in hand with a responsibility to use water appropriately. This responsibility applies to every person in the country.
The Centre calls on the public to realise their right and responsibility for water by uniting in conserving water during this period of drought. Whilst this is not the first drought to affect Namibia, the increasing population size and urbanisation are factors that have contributed to greater pressures on the water reserves in Windhoek in particular.
“This means that the current water crisis is different to the past and unless as a country we change our pattern of water utilisation, we will soon face significant shortages,” says LAC.
“Even though individual home owners may not use a significant amount of water, we can all still make efforts to save water. At the other end of the scale,”adds LAC.
The Centre calls on businesses that use large amounts of water to implement protocols for the best utilisation of water.
“A key responsibility for water conservation is the elimination of water wastage. There should not be taps or pipes that are leaking. The current water crisis has highlighted the need for short- and long-term changes to be implemented to address the situation,” says the Centre.
The Legal Assistance Centre has drafted a template workplace water policy and hopes that businesses will utilise this document, adjusting and adapting it for the needs of their individual situation.