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CC | Judge: “Curaçao not obliged to impose a general ban on water disconnection”

HomeLandenCuraçaoCC | Judge: “Curaçao not obliged to impose a general ban on...

WILLEMSTAD – A general ban on water disconnection, as demanded by the association Hende i Medio Ambiente (HiMA), is not supported by the Court of First Instance of Curaçao.

This is despite the association’s demand that the government should make more efforts to ensure access to clean water for all citizens, including the poor and vulnerable.

Judge Kimberley Lasten ruled that the government, with its limited financial resources, is not acting unlawfully by not making sufficient efforts for this access.

The Ombudsman has previously drawn attention to the issue of water disconnection for citizens who do not pay their bills on time. HiMA argues that this is a violation of fundamental rights and demands that the government do more, including providing sufficient subsidies.

The government defends itself by pointing to existing regulations that provide assistance to the poor and vulnerable in paying their water bills. Additionally, the government has taken various initiatives, such as a website for those in need, discussions with Aqualectra about debt relief, and awareness campaigns. Water disconnection is seen as a last resort.

Judge Lasten rules that the government makes sufficient efforts to ensure access to clean water. The regulations are in line with WHO standards for people’s basic need for water. A general ban on water disconnection would be too intrusive on Aqualectra’s operations, according to Lasten. Additionally, the issue of water disconnection is too complex and is related to other problems such as illegal construction and water theft.

The conclusion of the Court is that the Country is not acting unlawfully by its current efforts, and a general ban on water disconnection is unfounded. In individual cases, the situation may be different, but this case concerns general condemnations against the Country, for which there is no basis.

The association Hende i Medio Ambiente is considering appealing this decision; it has six weeks to do so.

Bron: Curacao Chronicle

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