WORLD BANK WANTS WATER PRIVATIZED, DESPITE RISKSEnd of excerpt
The World Bank Group pushes privatization as a key solution to the water crisis. It is the largest funder of water management in the developing world, with loans and financing channeled through the group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC). Since the 1980s, the IFC has been promoting these water projects as part of a broader set of privatization policies, with loans and financing tied to enacting austerity measures designed to shrink the state, from the telecom industry to water utilities.
But international advocacy and civil society groups point to the pockmarked record of private-sector water projects and are calling on the World Bank Group to end support for private water.
In the decades since the IFC’s initial push, we have seen the results of water privatization: It doesn’t work. Water is not like telecommunications or transportation. You could tolerate crappy phone service, but have faulty pipes connecting to your municipal water and you’re in real trouble. Water is exceptional.
Private sector priorities
“Water is a public good,” Shayda Naficy, the director of the International Water Campaign at Corporate Accountability International (CAI), told me, “for which inequality has to fall within a certain range — or it means life and death.” When the private sector engages in water provision, greater disparities in access and cost follow.
It is criminal to privatize water as water is a natural substance free to all who inhabit the Earth. Privatizing this exceptional resource brings social, economic and environmental stress to regions already afflicted with water scarcity as well as decreases in water quality as profits are used to benefit the company not the users. It brings thirst and death to the poor in developing countries who cannot afford it. Water should never be an elitist commodity only for the rich to exploit.
The World Bank has been involved in the privatization of water for years even while it now touts being concerned about climate change. The two are not mutually exclusive-you cannot say you are concerned about climate change while pushing privatization of water resources...unless of course, you are using climate change to benefit yourself through water privatization. Subsistence farmers depend on access to water in order to grow food and live. Water is the life blood of our world. To seek to keep it accessible only to those who can afford your price especially in an age of extreme drought and climate change when more are at risk is evil in the extreme.
Dried Up, Sold Out (How the World Bank’s Push for Private Water Harms the Poor)
We the people must continue to fight for water access to all, free of corporate interference.
Remember, who controls the water then controls the seeds and then your life.
NEVER FORGET COCHABAMBA.
Tell the World Bank: Divest From Private Water
Make no mistake. This is a war.