Not Just On Earth Day

This issue hits at the core of the environmental crisis we now face in this world as well. While much of the water scarcity being experienced is due to economic and political reasons, climate change is also having an adverse effect on water in many parts of the world. In South America, China, Africa, and even in the United States, rivers are drying up, water tables are receding, and the lifeforce that sustains us and our only home is slowly being taken from us drop by drop by predatory private corporations seeking profit over people.

It is then especially important not just on Earth Day that we remember all that is happening around our world in this regard that does effect our lives. It goes to taking action every day to work to see these problems dealt with because as I reiterated in a previous entry on this subject, we have the resources necessary if we would only use them accordingly.

To many however, reading articles about wars over wells in Somalia,and children being killed in Kenya to take the water they walked miles to collect, and people dying in the Sudan not just of genocide, but of famine, drought, and lack of water because of that drought and the political tyranny that exists, believe they are not effected by it at all because it doesn't effect them. Or so they think. Perhaps on a physical level it doesn't effect us here. However, on a human and moral level it most certainly does effect us all, and on an economic level as well. You pay more for your water here, because of what goes on over there.

And you can thank the World Bank for that.
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Consider this from the Food and Water site:

World Bank Watch
Statement at the World Bank Spring meetings April 2006: World Bank Finances Corporate Corruption

As the water crisis grows, there is increased pressure on World Bank staff to push larger loans faster in order to meet the funding targets. This pressure has lead to a significant inequity on how World Bank funds are allocated. For example, while all of sub-Saharan Africa received US$289 million (US$200 million is in a single loan to Nigeria) in March to June 2005, China alone received US$510 million. And India and Indonesia are also both contenders for first place. Under preparation are loans totaling US$560 million for China, US$322 million for Indonesia and a whopping US$1.344 billion towards water projects in India. Sub-Saharan Africa is arguably the continent in most need of water investment, but the World Bank is increasingly focusing on middle-income countries and ignoring the needs of the poorest countries.
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In other words, if you are poor, YOU DIE.
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Press Release: World Bank Must Deal with Corruption
April 20, 2006
Activists Demand Stronger Anti-Corruption Measures at World Bank

“World Bank finances corporate corruption,” say critics

WASHINGTON ⎯ The World Bank should stop financing projects with negative social and environmental impacts and seek rapid action to disbar companies found guilty of malfeasance, fraud or bribery say a coalition of human rights, environmental, and development advocates. Unfurling a banner that read “World Bank Finances Corporate Corruption,” activists interrupted today’s press conference featuring World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, whose crusade against corruption at the bank has been a flagship of his presidency.

A statement issued today by more than 70 organizations charges that Wolfowitz‘s campaign ignores the corruption that routinely impacts countries that are dependent on World Bank loans. “Fighting corruption in international finance requires that the World Bank accept accountability for its practices. For more than sixty years, the Bank has facilitated the control of public infrastructure and other assets in borrowing countries by U.S. corporate interests and other powerful World Bank shareholders.” said Steve Hellinger of The Development GAP.

The coalition criticized the World Bank for ignoring fundamental causes of corruption and dragging its feet in responding to allegations of corruption in Bank-funded projects. “The World Bank has financed many projects riddled with corruption such as the Enron power plant in Guatemala, the Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline and Shell in Nigeria” added Wenonah Hauter of Food & Water Watch, “Many of these corporations are engaged in highly questionable activities, financed by the World Bank, that involve influence payments, human rights abuses, and projects with damaging social and environmental impacts. Who holds the World Bank accountable for continuing to reward corrupt behaviour?”

Critics also responded to Wolfowitz’s recent anti-corruption programs, pointing to the World Bank’s corrupting influence in client countries. “Corruption also occurs when democratic processes are bypassed to influence legislation for private gain – similar to Jack Abramoff’s crimes in the U.S.,” said Sameer Dossani of the 50 Years Is Enough Network, “Economic policies for countries around the world are effectively written by the World Bank and the IMF, disrupting what should be a democratic process, and making governments accountable to foreign entities rather than their own people. Worse, most World Bank- and IMF-imposed policies benefit transnational corporations and local political elites.”

The groups also demanded debt cancellation for impoverished countries which have incurred debts to the World Bank due to the bank’s corrupt lending to illegitimate regimes. “What about the corruption of the past?” asked Debayani Kar of the Jubilee USA Network, “Billions in World Bank loans have gone to prop up corrupt regimes such as Suharto’s in Indonesia and Marcos’ in the Philippines. The U.S. Senate found that as much as $100 billion may have been lost to corruption in Bank projects. Yet today the impoverished citizens of impacted countries must continue to repay these odious and illegitimate debts. We call for the World Bank to take responsibility and cancel these debts.”
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Paul Wolfowitz, you are killing people. This is also what we have seen in Iraq (which BTW is also a country on the list of those experiencing such water scarcity) with bags of money (YOUR tax money) just walking away, projects being left unfinished, (except of course for their "embassy" which shows we haven't occupied their country) malfesance, human rights abuses, and fraud. And it is the POOR who are the victims of these crimes, and the World Bank that continues to get away with such practices.

This is how far and how deep the corruption goes, American people. From the hallowed halls of Washington D.C., to the poor villages of Africa and South America. This is also what is faced in running anyone for President of this country. Don't then even think for a second that a man or woman of true decency would EVER be allowed to sit in that position with organizations like the World Bank and the IMF counting on them to look the other way and enable their MURDER FOR PROFIT. Not as long as WE TOO only sit and watch it happen!

That is what I have also tried to impart with the diaries on this topic. THIS IS IMPORTANT. BY 2025 over one third of this world will NOT have water. If you think that isn't going to spark more war, think again. People are now killing each other to have access to their well water. Droughts are deadly in Africa and other parts of the world. Corporations are raking in billions of dollars worth of profits from construction schemes, to rerouting schemes, to bottled water. And other corporations like Coca Cola have plants in these countries where their practices are actually causing the scarcity to the residents who live there and who cannot afford to pay for their water, if they even have water. And this is really what irks me the most. WATER is a HUMAN RIGHT, and on this Earth Day we as citizens of the world must pledge that we will NEVER allow that human right to be taken away.

That is why I applaud organizations like Water Partners International which is linked in my other diary, and the Food and Water Site. There are people out here working hard to preserve that most basic of human rights, but they can't do it alone. So on this Earth Day as you search for a way to make a difference, think about this...Think about what we are here on this Earth for. Is it simply to wile away the days hoping something will change when "someone else" does it? Or is it to be the instrument of that change? I say, it is most definitely the latter, and anyone deprived of water in this world is a victim of a most heinous crime and human rights abuse that must not be tolerated by good people of conscience. The time for justice has come. For whether you believe it or not, it is happening right here in the United States of America. Greedy corporations are out to STEAL YOUR WATER and make you pay dearly for it. Let us then not squander all of the positive strides we have made on Earth Days past. This is not only our mission, this is our duty. WATER IS LIFE.

Global Water Policy
Here is another site that may be of interest.

Thank you.

It's your world, and will be what you make of it.

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