Nairobi, Kenya – October 9, 2023 – In a resounding show of unity and determination, the Nairobi Water Justice Working Group, alongside community representatives and union members, took to the streets of Nairobi to voice their unwavering opposition to the proposed Nairobi Water and Sewerage Services Bill 2023. This historic event unfolded as a march and petition presentation at the County Assembly of Nairobi, marking a pivotal moment in the fight against water privatization in the Kenyan capital.
The Nairobi Water and Sewerage Services Bill 2023 has been a contentious issue since its introduction, with concerns about its intentions to bring private entities into the management of water resources. Many rightly fear that such a move will jeopardize access to clean and affordable water for countless citizens, as private companies will prioritize profits over public welfare.
As the sun began to rise on that fateful day, a sea of passionate advocates gathered to make their voices heard. The diverse group, comprised of community leaders, union members, and concerned citizens, joined forces to present the petition explicitly rejecting the proposed bill. Their unity was palpable, as they shared a common goal: safeguarding the fundamental human right to clean water for all residents of Nairobi.
The petition, signed by over 400 members of the Nairobi community was presented to the County Assembly of Nairobi. It served as a powerful symbol of the people’s commitment to ensuring water remains a public good, accessible to all, rather than a source of corporate profit.
Following the presentation of the petition, the Nairobi Water Justice Working Group engaged in a series of productive discussions with MCA Recky Odhiambo, the departmental chair of Water and Sanitation. These conversations allowed for a meaningful exchange of ideas and concerns, promoting a deeper understanding of the concerns of citizens. While the dialogue will continue, it was a promising step towards finding a balanced solution that respects the human rights of people.
The Nairobi Water Justice Working Group, emboldened by the successful march and petition presentation, remains resolute in their commitment to protecting the public’s access to clean water. Their actions highlight the enduring strength of community-driven advocacy and the power of collective voices in the face of challenges that threaten the well-being of the people.
As the debate surrounding the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Services Bill 2023 continues, the working group’s unwavering determination serves as a beacon of hope for those who believe that water is a fundamental right, not a commodity to be exploited for profit. In the heart of Nairobi, the fight for water justice continues, fueled by the passion and unity of the people.