In the face of growing threats to water, civil society groups in Nigeria and other African countries, yesterday, called on leaders to shelve the idea of privatising water on the continent.
Acting under the aegis of Our Water, Our Right Coalition, OWORAC, led by civil society and trade unionists from about 12 African countries, the groups, which made the call at a joint briefing in lagos, yesterday, asked African leaders to be the bulwark against rising tide of threats to communities’ access to water, with particular attention to the insidious threats that water privatization and corporate capture pose to the human right to water.
The Executive Director of Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa and also a member, OWORAC, Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi, said: “Water is not a commodity to be traded, bartered or sold to the highest bidder.
”The rich countries of the global north must stop funding neo-colonial commodification practices in global south countries, especially in Africa, disguised as benevolent development aid and interventions.
”The capitalist pillage of Africa’s water, masquerading as innovative solutions, is a crime against the people and is unacceptable.”
He noted that during this week, in which community leaders celebrate and work to protect the human right to water, those pushing dangerous privatization schemes would descend upon the continent for the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Marrakech, Morocco.
“The fact that these meetings, organized by two of the institutional architects for the first time in 50 years and despite the devastating earthquake which occurred in the country just two months prior, indicates a sharpened focus on shipping the future of Africa in the image of corporate control,” he added.
Similarly, Public Services International’s Regional Secretary for Africa, Mr. Sani Baba Mohammed, said: “Corporate greed has turned Africa’s water into blue gold mines, deepening inequalities and leaving communities parched, even when surrounded by an abundance that is rightfully theirs.
“This is the shameful failure of market-centric water management approaches. Only community -driven solutions rooted in democratic decision-making and control of water resources for public good can guarantee water access, equality, accountability and security of jobs.”