A dry reflection on human rights

As we commemorated Human Rights Day, in memory of the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, my family and I reclaimed Nantes Park, in Athlone, for a few hours on Wednesday March 21, for my daughter’s first birthday party.

At first glance all one sees is sand and no grass.

The once lush park has been hit by drought along with several other public spaces.

We had to shield the food from sand being blown into it and afterward, sand had to be emptied from the children’s shoes.

The public toilet’s taps were turned off. Thankfully, we had bottled water to wet parched throats and a plastic squeeze bottle with water to wash hands.

We had planned for almost every eventuality. We had paper plates so that we didn’t have to use water to wash dishes. Party favours were plastic cups, which guests used at the party and took home as a memento. The meal was prepared off site and put in sealable containers to keep things clean and hygienic.

As I write this column I reflect on the demonstrations against apartheid’s pass laws, a crowd of about 7000 protestors at Sharpeville police station, in Gauteng, being shot at and 69 people being killed, after the police opened fire.

Back then citizens had to carry an “internal passport” designed to segregate the population according to race. Today we honour our human rights, enshrined in the constitution.

Similarly members of the Water Crisis Coalition (WCC), are fighting for their right to water – irrespective of the installation of water management devices (WMD) by the City of Cape Town and they are disputing high water bills.

The WCC hosted a summit at Tafelsig community hall on Wednesday giving residents a platform to air their views on water restrictions and access to this valuable resource.

Water saving tips

Use water purification tablets in collected rainwater and add Milton if using the water to wash vegetables. With the listeriosis outbreak we can’t afford not to wash our fresh produce.

Keep tummy medicines, including rehydrate, Medizine, Imodium, Buscopan, probiotics and extra toilet paper at hand in case of infection.