This book, written by SEARCWL full time staff and guest lecturers, is a ‘must... Read more
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 06:50


The book "Water Is Life: Women’s Human Rights in national and local water go... Read more
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 08:33


The book "Water Is Life: Women’s Human Rights in national and local water governance in Southern and Eastern Africa" was released in October 2015. It was published by Weaver press. The book was launched in Harare, Zimbabwe, on November 17th 2015 at an event hosted by the Australian Embassy.

The book is edited by Prof Anne Hellum, Prof Patricia Kameri-Mbote (Both of whom are Lecturers at SEARCWL) and Barbara van Koppen. It was funded by the Norwegian Global partnership.

The book is 4 years of legal and empirical research in 4 southern and eastern African countries. It is the 6th in the North-South publications by SEARCWL. It is concentrated on field work and legal analysis as water is key to all Human Rights systems. It is a 650 page volume. The book explores how international and regional human rights embody the right to water and sanitation, the right to participation and the right to non-discrimination and how these have been translated into laws, policies and practices in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The book also approaches water and sanitation as an African gender and human rights issue.

Essential elements from the book are how water is affected by climate change with Africa being the most vulnerable continent to climate change. The authors show how water can be a source of conflict when not enough and also how other actors have stepped in where states have failed to make potable and affordable water available. The many layers and levels that water access goes through before it reaches the vulnerable groups are demonstrated e.g. how women who use it both for domestic and livelihoods alike. Women in water governance is another issue highlighted. Of interest is how the post colonial era created another set of colonialists and how that has affected access to water. These are termed colonial continuities of neglect of water and land needs for Africans. The process socialised the new elite into colonial, political economic and social patterns to rule on an inherited political structure. Revealed by the case studies in the book are also the complexities and the contradictions, intersectional vulnerabilities of poor women, the need for greater integration and harmonisation between international, national and local norms.


The book is on sale at the SEARCWL and at MAZWI Book store for $25/copy. A discount is being offered for multiple copies which you can buy at $20/copy.

It is also available from African Book collective:¨

Download a pdf copy here.

For more information contact either SEARCWL or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ¨


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