Human Right 2 Water’s President, Dhesigen Naidoo joins the Water and Food Security Guest Lecture on Human Rights to Water and Sanitation and the South African Experience, hosted by UN Water’s Olcay Ünver, Ph.D.
As lead of the Water Research Commission (WRC), South Africa’s dedicated national Water and Sanitation, Innovation, Research and Development Agency, as well as having previously served in senior positions in the South African national government, Dhesigen brings a vast range of expertise to this discussion, from this regional perspective.
In fact, South Africa is a leader in the area of human right to water and sanitation. Nelson Mandela and his water minister Kader Asmal introduced the notion of water as a basic human right in 1996. South Africa then went on to enshrine it in its constitution in 1997. Dhesigen was a young member of Asmal’s team at the time. Nelson Mandela challenged the world leaders in 2002 at the Earth Summit in Rio to make water and sanitation a human right. It took the international community another 8 years and the United Nations recognized water and sanitation as a human right in 2010.