A view of Marseille

Marseille commits to providing clean water and hygiene conditions to everybody

Marseille commits to providing clean water and hygiene conditions to everybody

The city also calls for an ambitious water conservation policy to preserve biodiversity

Marseille makes a commitment to ensure access to clean water and hygiene to everybody. The second largest French city used the occasion of World Water Day on 22 March to raise awareness of the situation of people who live without access to safe water and draw the first steps to reversing the negative situation on its territory.

French cities take steps to ensure sanitation and safe water to all

In France, according to UN figures, 1.4 million people still lack access to safe water and 7.5 million people do not have the appropriate sanitary facilities, informed the municipal website. In Marseille, the situation is particularly critical for part of the population, especially homeless people or those living in temporary homes.

The city authorities point out to the low number of public fountains and toilets - less than 200 fountains and less than 25 public toilets throughout the city. Now, by signing a national "Water Manifesto" (initiated by a group of associations, among which the Red Cross, Action contre la faim, Médecins du Monde) the city will be joining several large cities committed to guaranteeing the right to drinking water and sanitation for all.

As a first step in this direction, Marseille will create a health centre aimed to ensure these rights. In the meantime, the municipality will be opening public showers and toilets at the Ruffi gymnasium. There, the most disadvantaged citizens will be able to get a warm shower and refill their drinking bottles from Monday to Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

However, the city also points out that the problem largely exceeds the level of municipal competence, falling into the responsibilities of the Aix-Marseille Provence Metropolis. That is why the municipality outlined these issues in a letter to the metropolitan authorities, asking them to take quick actions, making up for the massive backlog accumulated in terms of access to fountains and sanitation.

In the long term, city officials call for an ambitious water conservation policy, which must be considered as a central element in all urban planning. Such policy shall help preserve biodiversity and fight against all forms of pollution.

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