First Meeting of the Blue Communities Africa Declaration and Assessment Committee

The Declaration and Assessment Committee of Blue Communities (Africa) convened for the very first time today, marking a significant step towards ensuring water justice and equity across the continent. Led by the Africa Water Justice Network, this initiative aims to promote the idea of a water commons framework, recognizing water as a shared resource for all.


The Blue Communities Project, initiated by the Council of Canadians, the Blue Planet Project, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in 2009, has garnered international momentum. Its core principles advocate for the recognition of water and sanitation as human rights, the phasing out of bottled water sales in municipal facilities and events, and the promotion of publicly financed, owned, and operated water and wastewater services. This movement has gained traction globally, with municipalities like Paris, France, and Bern, Switzerland, embracing the “blue” ethos.

Committee Members

  1. Rev. Kolade Fadahunsi, Coordinator, Ecumenical Water Network Africa (Nigeria) – Interim Chairperson
  2. Bishop Mike Voster, Retired Bishop of Methodist Church Southern Africa and Director of Ecumenical Relations (South Africa)
  3. Rev. Diane Mugambi, Chaplain, St Paul’s University (Kenya)
  4. Geoffrey Kabutey Occansey, Convener, Water Citizens Network (Ghana)
  5. Khethiwe Tshuma, Secretary, Bulawayo Water Action (Zimbabwe)

Meeting Highlights

The committee  adopted a comprehensive work plan for the upcoming year, outlining clear objectives and activities. Additionally, they engaged in detailed discussions regarding Africa-specific principles that would guide the Blue Communities initiative on the continent.


  1. Community Self-Management
  2. Recognition of Water as a Common Good
  3. Opposition to Privatization
  4. Ban or phase out the sale of bottled/sachet water
  5. Proper Wastewater Management

Future Plans

One of the pivotal tasks ahead for the committee is the development of assessment criteria and tools tailored to the unique needs and challenges of African communities. These criteria will serve as the foundation for evaluating organisational and community adherence to the Blue Communities Africa principles.

The committee also announced plans to unveil a launch date for the Blue Communities Africa project soon.

As the committee adjourned, there was a good sense of determination and solidarity among its members, underscoring their commitment to realizing the vision of Blue Communities in Africa and ensuring that water remains a common good accessible to all, now and for generations to come.

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