European and international media have widely reported the 2nd August decision of the city mayor Pál Fürjes of the Hungarian town Ózd to reduce water pressure or stop supplying altogether in 88 roadside pumps. This happening underlines the importance of the European Citizens Initiative Right to Water campaign and the demand that the European Commission takes further steps to guarantee people living in Europe safe and clean drinking water in accordance with UN obligations.
The Ózd mayor claimed that in its current form, water provision was too expensive. The decision effected several hundreds of families and hit especially hard a number of poor neighborhoods that have a large Roma population. This happened in the middle of a heat wave reaching 40 degrees Celsius and force hundreds to queue in those pumps that were still delivering a trickle of water. Due to international pressure and the prospect of large demonstrations, the government ordered the city to restore water supplies.
(Photo: The Hungarian City of Ózd from the air. Source © Wikipedia)
Access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation services cannot depend on how much money you have or in which neighborhood you happen to live. The right to water campaign has been successful in getting this message across with more than 1.5 million people baking it through electronic signatures. This European Citizens Initiative (ECI) will submit the gathered signatures to European Commission on 9 September, so still have a few days to sign and show your support.
(Photo source © http://www.right2water.eu/)
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