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“Walls of Water” – Art for the human right to water

Mural by Jasmin Siddiqui in Bukoto Street, Kampala, for Viva con Agua’s “Walls of Water” project

Mural by Jasmin Siddiqui in Bukoto Street, Kampala, for Viva con Agua’s “Walls of Water” project, © Kevin McElvaney

12.12.2019 - Article

Over two billion people around the world have no access to safe drinking water, and more than four billion have no safe sanitation. The organisation Viva con Agua wants to change that: it uses artistic and musical campaigns to promote projects aimed at improving water supplies.

Art workshop with children in Kampala as part of Viva con Agua’s “Walls of Water” project
Art workshop with children in Kampala as part of Viva con Agua’s “Walls of Water” project© Hera-Herakut

Germany is providing it with support in Kampala.

Access to water and sanitation is a human right, not a luxury. Viva con Agua is working to make this basic right universally valid. The organisation uses the global language of art and music to highlight problems with the supply of water and to drum up support.

“Nature said we should share her gifts”

Mural painted for Viva con Agua’s “Walls of Water” project in Kampala
Mural painted for Viva con Agua’s “Walls of Water” project in Kampala© Kevin McElvaney

A huge mural decorates Bukoto Street in the Ugandan capital Kampala. It shows a girl giving a crested crane – Uganda’s national emblem – a drink. “Water and empathy – two of the most important gifts Mother Nature has given us. And we should pass these gifts on!” says artist Jasmin Siddiqui, who painted the mural.

The painting is part of Viva con Agua’s “Walls of Water” project, which the Federal Foreign Office is supporting in Uganda. Under the project, a group of international street artists travelled to Kampala, in part to engage in art projects with children. The aim is to raise people’s awareness of the problems.

Clean water and sanitation: A priority for Germany

As part of its humanitarian assistance, the Federal Foreign Office supports measures that give people access to safe drinking water and toilet facilities. Every year the Federal Foreign Office supports over 130 projects to build wells, latrines or wastewater pipes.

In addition, Germany and Spain submitted a joint resolution to the UN Human Rights Council and succeeded in getting a mandate for an independent expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, says:

Whether women and children in Bangladesh, indigenous peoples in Brazil or refugees in Burundi, we must leave no one behind when it comes to the human right to water and sanitation.

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