United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Indigenous Peoples

Commission on Sustainable Development 13
Interactive discussion on Access to basic sanitation and hygiene,
Indigenous Peoples. 12/4/2005
Estebancio Castro, International Indian Treaty Council and Lucy Mulenkei,
Indigenous Information Network
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
The realization of access to basic sanitation and hygiene requires first and foremost
effective policies at the national level. States members have the primary responsibility
and obligation to provide effective policies, setting priorities and allocating resources. It
is also important the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples and all the
stakeholders that they alone can ensure that the actions of States in this area is in the
best interest of the people. Indigenous Peoples would like to propose the following
· Regional and global goals must be developed for realistic local and national
target for improved sanitation services, adopting community ? based, low-cost
and intermediate technological approaches and bearing in mind the human right
to clean sanitation and hygiene services.
· Adopt strategies that explore alternatives to large-scale private sector systems
and technologies by seeking innovations in formal or informal small-scale water
system providers, intermediate technologies, indigenous knowledge and
community-based approaches.
· Developing and developed countries with indigenous tribal peoples must develop
and strengthen clear policies, targets, financing mechanisms schemes and
institutional frameworks to improve sanitation services and assure access to safe
and adequate water supply to indigenous communities.
· Water and sanitation services must be demand-responsive and people-oriented
which requires the public sector and local governments to plan, implement,
maintain and own the system. Governments must commit to public sector
delivery of water services.
· In areas of Indigenous communities, mechanisms for the option for Indigenous
peoples to control and manage their own water and sanitation systems must be
· Rainwater is also useful for sanitation and hygiene. Indigenous women can take
care of multiple household needs and specially take responsibility on water
quality and maintenance of Rain Water Harvesting systems.
We must understand that responsibilities and obligations require co-related duties and
that sanitation and hygiene services can be ensured only if the existence of
corresponding obligations is acknowledge both at national and international levels.
Thank you Mr. Chairman