Meet one of the first Legal Empowerment Fund (LEF) grantees: Association Nomad08.
Based in Tunisia, Nomad08 mobilizes communities whose livelihoods, cultures, and environments are threatened by industrial development. The organization was founded in 2013 as an alliance of activists fighting for economic, social, and environmental rights across the country. Today, the association includes six full-time staff, as well as researchers, trainees, volunteers, and a media team.
As part of the LEF’s inaugural cohort of grantees, Nomad08 will receive flexible core funding to support one of their most critical legal empowerment initiatives: the Tunisian Observatory of Water. Launched in 2016, this project combines awareness raising, advocacy, and protest with legal empowerment strategies to defend every Tunisian’s right to clean water.
[What is legal empowerment? Read our Fund 101 explainer.]
Legal empowerment is key to Nomad08’s approach to defending water rights. In the village of El Houaidia, for example, the group has supported a local movement’s claim to water through litigation. The association has organized trainings for agricultural workers and farmers who don’t own their land—or landless farmers—educating them on their rights to protest corporations that pollute the environment and block critical access to water. They even introduced an alternative draft law to Tunisia’s water code, containing more than 150 chapters, which is still under review by Tunisia’s parliament.
“Thanks to Nomad08, men and women across Tunisia know their rights and are able to pursue them,” says Atieno Odhiambo, director of the Legal Empower Fund. “That’s the power of legal empowerment—it puts the law back into the hands of the people.”
As an association, Nomad08 has established important linkages with likeminded movements across the Arab world, coordinating with other associations from Lebanon, Egypt, and Morocco. In the future, they hope to build a strong network of activists defending land and water rights.
“We’re so proud to be supporting Nomad08’s vital work through the LEF, and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments together,” says Odhiambo.
Please join us in welcoming Nomad08 to the LEF’s first cohort of grantees!