Yerevan, 30 January 2020: Everyone has the right to access to water supply and sanitation and everyone is obliged to pay for the services provided. The state should establish mechanisms to enable the socially disadvantaged groups to use these services and to ensure that people pay for these services.
Equitable access to water and sanitation and a number of other issues related to water supply and sanitation were addressed at a meeting held at the “Ibis Yerevan Center” Hotel on January 30, 2020 organized by the “Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment” NGO within the framework of the UNDEF – funded project “Enabling Women to Participate in Sustainable Water Management in Armenia”.
Representatives of state agencies, NGOs and communities involved in the project attended the meeting.
The speeches delivered at the meeting touched upon such issues like the tariff policy in the Republic of Armenia, the process of formation of drinking water, sanitation and irrigation water tariffs, social assistance to vulnerable groups, and other issues.
When talking about the tariff policy, the participants’ attention was drawn to the fact that the unified tariff is applied to all customers of the settlements included in the service area of “Veolia Djur” CJSC, including vulnerable and marginalized groups. However, there is no complete information on the tariffs for the settlements outside the above mentioned service area, as in these settlements, even access to water and sanitation is a common issue. In addition, at present the RA legislation does not define vulnerable and marginalized groups.
It was also mentioned, that there is currently a need to make legislative changes, in particular to the RA Water Code, relating to the inclusion of the definition of vulnerable and isolated groups and ensuring equitable access to drinking water for those groups.
At the end of the meeting, the participants presented a number of recommendations to ensure the exercise of drinking water supply and sanitation rights for vulnerable groups.