Rodje Malcolm | Water is a right
The distribution of water is profoundly inequitable both among and within countries.
This is because it is essential for most life functions and exists in a shared natural environment.
International human rights standards have evolved to now assure the right to "sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses."
Jamaica does not.
To assure water safety, governments must establish water quality standards and scientifically monitor all forms of water provision, including piped water, tankers, and protected wells to ensure they are safe.
According to new research from the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), Jamaica has no legally enforceable drinking water standards because draft standards developed years ago have not been legislated.
Annually, Jamaica’s Survey of Living Conditions confirms that rural communities have significantly less access to piped water than other areas and people must travel "longer distances to access drinking water."
In 2017, the problem remains.
Addressing these problems will both enhance people’s quality of life and boost national productivity.
Given the existential threat posed by climate change and water’s increasing scarcity globally, there is no time like the present to act.