by Nayareth Quevedo
Hundreds of water sector workers met on World Water Day on 22 March in Buenos Aires to discuss the issue. They called on "all actors committed to water resources to agree and implement public policies to promote access to water and defend water as a basic, fundamental and universal human right."
The event was organised by the Confederation of Water, Sanitation and Environmental Workers of the Americas (CONTAGUAS) and the Greater Buenos Aires Water and Sanitation Workers’ Union (SGBATOS). The General Secretary of Public services International (PSI) Rosa Pavanelli, addressed the meeting and emphasised the importance of the development of water for women.
"In many parts of the world, they are responsible for providing a supply of this natural resource to their families, which limits their access to the formal labour market".
The workers defended the human right to water and emphasised the importance of public services for guaranteeing this right. They launched a manifesto which was also signed by the PSI, in which they affirm:
"Access to water not only involves environmental and technical issues. It also involves basic social and political elements that require compromise and dialogue. We know that the social right to water depends on the balance of forces in any given society where there is conflict over the ownership of resources, and in which resources are often seen as commodities. The state is important as guarantor of access to water and sanitation services and development of these services so that all citizens have access to this strategic resource."