European Citizens Initiative Right to Water condemns Hungarian mayor of Ózd (Fidesz) for cutting people off water
European and internationalmedia have widely reported on the decision of Mayor Pál Fürjes of the Hungarian town Ózd to reduce water pressure or stop supplying altogether some 88 roadside pumps, Friday 2 August. The mayor claimed this was too expensive. The decision effected several hundreds of families and hit especially a number of poor neighborhoods hard that have a large Roma population. This happened in the middle of a heat wave reaching 40 degrees and saw hundreds queuing for 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.
This sad example underlines the importance of the European Citizens Initiative Right to Water and the demand that the European Commission takes steps to guarantee citizens safe and clean drinking water in accordance with UN obligations. Having access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation services should not depend on how much money you have or in which neighborhood you life.
The right to water campaign has been successful in getting its message across with more than 1.5 million people through electronic signatures now supporting the demands with many ten-thousands doing so on paper. The ECI will submit the signatures to the relevant national authorities 9 September. Till then it will be possible to sign.