On March 23, PBI-Honduras posted on Facebook:
““The only thing you can’t produce is water” “Commoners have to be on the lands, not in jails” [These are] quotes heard yesterday, World Water Day, in a demonstration in front of the National Congress of Honduras.
PBI observed the call of 4 communities, Indigenous Lenca community lands of the father, the Laboriosos Indians of Suyapa, the communards of Támara and San Matías, demanding the recognition of their ancestral rights over the land and the repeal of the “drinking water and sanitation sector framework” law.
We remember that access to water is a fundamental right, it is indispensable for a worthy life and for the fulfillment of other rights such as the right to life.“
Timeline of water legislation
The World Bank has noted: “In 2003, Honduras passed the Drinking Water and Sanitation Sector Framework Law mandating decentralization of SANAA [National Autonomous Water and Sewerage Service] and transfer of its assets to the municipalities by October 2008. This law, referred to as the Ley Marco [or Framework Law], required municipalities to set up autonomous service providers.”
PBI-Honduras has previously explained: “In the midst of the post-coup political crisis [around 2009], the Honduran National Congress approved the General Water Law, which opened the possibility of ceding the country’s water resources to third parties.”
On July 28, 2010, Honduras voted at the United Nations General Assembly in favor of the recognition of the human right to water and sanitation.
Both ENDS has commented: “In 2013, Honduras incorporated the right to water in the national constitution. This is a promising step on paper, yet its implementation and enforcement in practice is weak.”
GFA Consulting adds: “In March 2020, the General Directorate of Water Resources of the Ministry of the Environment in Honduras thanked the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) for its contribution to the consolidation of the legal and regulatory framework regarding the institutionalization of the country’s General Water Law.”
And as noted above, in March 2022, PBI-Honduras observed communities outside the National Congress calling for “the repeal of the drinking water and sanitation sector framework law (“la derogación de la ley marco del sector agua potable y saneamiento”).
We will continue to follow this and develop a stronger understanding of the water governance issues in Honduras.