Water and Sanitation as an Essential Public Service and the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals

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2009 Water & Environment Service Group Conference
4 March 2009

Conference welcomes UNISON’s publication of the report ‘Sewerage Works’ and confirms its belief that sewerage has the potential to make a significant contribution to the sanitation needs of the many thousands of people living in urban squalor throughout the developing world.

Water and Sanitation services are essential for life and it is universally accepted that sanitation saves more lives, especially children’s lives, than any other human initiative.

Conference notes that many water utilities in developing nations are struggling to provide basic services owing to a chronic lack of resources and agrees that public public partnerships offer a real alternative to private sector participation. Partners for Water and Sanitation (PAWS) offers opportunities for water company employees including UNISON members to provide direct support to countries in Africa.

Conference endorses the Executive’s work in liaison with the International Committee, Public Services International and NGOs like Water Aid, to campaign against privatisation and in favour of water and sanitation as a human right and as an essential public service.

Conference further instructs the Executive to work with water and environment branches to raise the profile of this area of work among members.