8th World Water ForumMaking water a fundamental right for people was emphasised by Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) and former Housing and Water Minister, Irfaan Ali who chaired three sessions on the role of parliamentarians and rights to water at the 8th World Water Forum in Brazil.Opposition MP and former Housing and Water Minister, Irfaan AliWhile addressing the audience on Tuesday, Ali stressed the importance of water being a fundamental and constitutional right. “For this to occur we must address issues of equality and the issue of water as a source for growth verses an economic good,” the MP told a large gathering of MPs from across the globe.Ali cited the high capital cost and investment made in water treatment plants and facilities by many developing countries. But he noted that the issue of increased access to concessional financing must be tackled, as more often international development agencies have been reducing funding.“Continuously, the allocation in terms of concessional financing to water and this is severely affecting developing countries. Issues of equality. We have to tackle the issue of whether a minimum limit in national budgets for water development, production and conservation is needed,” he explained.Natural Resources Minister Raphael TrotmanThe former Minister said MPs should all look carefully at how to marry the issue of water as a fundamental human right versus water as an economic commodity. “What are the basis elements or framework MPs can follow in the push of water agenda. I think these are questions and issues we should tackle,” he said.At the completion of the session of MPs, a draft Parliamentarians’ Manifesto was developed with certain clear strategies in helping to ensure water security, universal access to safe drinking water and sustainable development. The MPs will therefore be pressing for water security to be priority in the allocation of budgetary and non-budgetary, national and international for countries with difficulties, among others.It was also decided and included in the manifesto that MPs will work to make viable the legal changes and public policies that improve water governance, rational use of water, water efficiency in productive processes and research and innovation in the areas of water and sanitation; guarantee budgetary resources for public works and polices, as well as improved efficiency in the use of water resources.The MPs also agreed to adopt the actions established in the manifesto to strengthen their roles in the universalisation on the human right to water and sanitation; reinforce the need to prioritise measures to mitigate climate change that are related to water security, among others.Meanwhile, Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman also addressed the forum affirming Government’s commitment to the development and preservation of the world’s water resources.Trotman, who is part of a team accompanying President David Granger to Brazil, acknowledged the important role the forum plays in supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement and in also providing an avenue to engage stakeholders in support of the management and preservation of the world’s water resources.The Minister highlighted Guyana’s plans to advance management and development of water as a resource in context of the green development strategy that is the roadmap for the future development of Guyana’s resources. He also highlighted the establishment of a Water Catchment Area in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), Guyana as a local example of ongoing efforts to find long-term solutions for communities during periods of drought or who still experience limited access to water and assured the gathering that plans were underway to better understand the opportunities and threats involved.Minister Trotman further affirmed Guyana’s commitment to the goals and ideals of the forum.