Aspects of environmental Health in Zambia: A case study of water and sanitation as human rights
Nyalungwe, Nyampachila Gina
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Provision of clean water and access to healthy sanitary systems are critical aspects of environmental health. In view of the Current Constitution of Zambia it is clear that these services are viewed as mere policy directives. However Economic Social and Cultural Rights should not be viewed as mere policy directives. It is a truism to note that they are human rights. Therefore, the extent of their efficacy can only be ascertained when the rights in question are enshrined in the Constitution in an explicit manner. This would mean that Government would be accountable to the citizens in a positive manner. It will be obliged to implement services that will enable the citizens to access clean water and sanitary systems at an affordable price and without any hinderances. It follows therefore that the current absence of environmental rights in the Constitution and non-enforceable character of Economic Social and Cultural Rights, renders their realization impracticableIn view of the fore-going, it is clear that the relevance of the rights contained in the Directive Principles of State Policy leaves much to be desired. It is hoped that Government would change its stance on inclusion of Economic Social and Cultural Rights in The Constitution by allowing for a Referendum Process to facilitate the amendment of the Bill of Rights. One of the basic values of all free and open societies is the recognition and protection of citizens' human rights. Provision of water and sanitation and access thereto are critical aspects of the citizens' health and well being. These will be far from attainable if they are not regarded as human rights.
- Law