The Right to Water Resource in Cameroon : Legal Framework for Sustainable Utilization.
Water resource is one of the most fundamental human needs in any society across the world. Forming part of economic and social rights, the right to water means that all human beings without discrimination must enjoy access rights to water in quantity and quality sufficient enough to satisfy primary needs of life. Today, the right to water is universally recognized as a fundamental human right which states are required to uphold and enforce in their internal legal order with the cooperation of the international community.
In spite of the efforts of the international community which has longed recognized this right in legal instruments (the Dublin Convention, the Rio Declaration, the Convention on Desertification etc), the efforts of international civil society organizations (World Council for Water, for instance), as well as the UN Millennium Development Goals, the implementation of the right to water is still meeting a lot of challenges.
National efforts are now at work to reform the water sector and give meaning to the right to water. In Cameroon , the legislation that regulates access to water is Law No. 98/005 of 14 April 1998 to lay down a Water Code, and its Enabling Statutes of 2001. However, the problems remain namely; what constitutes the right to water under legislation; what is the nature of the right; its sources; national mechanisms for enforcement of the right; the hurdles to its effective enjoyment. What is the way forward to enhancing a more appropriate enjoyment of this right and ensuring sustainable utilization. These questions and more shall be answered in this paper.