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The National Commission in Defense of Water and Life (CNDAV) of Uruguay and the Commission in Support of the Palestinian People (CAPP-U) will hold an activity in Montevideo, capital of Uruguay, on Thursday, to integrate the defense of water with the struggle against the appropriation of water and land in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel.
The activity will take place as part of the celebrations for World Water Day (March 22nd). Members of CNDAV, CAPP-U and a representative of REDES-Friends of the Earth Uruguay, the Real World Radio journalist who participated in a Friends of the Earth International mission in the West Bank, Palestine, in October 2013, will speak at the event.
This October will be the 10th anniversary of the plebiscite promoted by the CNDAV that enshrined the human right to water in the Uruguayan Constitution and established that drinking water and sanitation should be provided by public companies and that there should be a participatory and sustainable management of water basins.
On March 21st, in Montevideo , REDES-FoE, the Uruguay Sustentable Program and CNDAV launched a book titled “Uruguayan Water Basins: Environmental and territorial situation and perspectives”.
The writers of the book are Marcel Achkar (PhD in Agronomy), Ana Dominguez (PhD in Geography) and Fernando Pesce (Master in Sciences), geographers, professors and researchers from the Sustainable Development and Environmental Territorial Management Laboratory, the Ecology and Environmental Sciences Institute of the Sciences School, University of the Republic.
This Thursday´s activity will also take place as part of the international days of action against Israeli water company Mekorot, called by several Palestinian social movements and groups gathered in PENGON – Friends of the Earth Palestine, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS Movement) and the Land Defense Coalition. The activities and actions started on the World Water Day and will come to an end on March 30, Palestinian Land Day.
Mekorot is accused of being responsible for stealing water from the Palestinian people, which is distributed to Israeli settlers in Palestinian territory.
Friends of the Earth International, the world´s largest environmental federation with organizations in around 80 countries joined the campaign against Mekorot. In a press release issued on March 20, Jagoda Munic, Chair of the Federation said that “access to water for Palestinians is a major problem, in large part due to the discriminatory policies of Israeli state water company Mekorot”.
These days of action against Mekorot aim to intensify pressure on governments and companies to boycott Mekorot and “hold the company accountable for its discriminatory water policies and practices in Palestine.”
In December 2013 the largest drinking water supplier in the Netherlands, Vitens, set a precedent when it decided that its commitment to international law meant it had to withdraw from a cooperation agreement with Mekorot. Also by the end of last year, a multi-million dollar contract in favor of the Israeli company for the installation of a water treatment plant in La Plata, Argentina, was suspended.
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