African countries must abandon the water privatization program pushed by the Bretton Woods institutions, a civil society group has warned.
Florence Ifeanyi-Aneke, head of the non-profit New-Life Community Care Initiative (NELCCI), said African governments were already under intense pressure from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. She said this was done through pledging huge funds and loans to Africa.
Ms. Ifeanyi-Aneke said African communities are against the agenda of taking away their basic rights and as such the African government must not give in.
She made the call on Friday at an event to commemorate Africa Water Week 2022 in Enugu. The NGO is partnering with Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa to market the event titled “African Communities Against Water Privatization”.
Africa Water Action Week has been specifically designed to coincide with the annual meeting of the two Bretton Woods institutions.
Ms. Ifeanyi-Aneke stressed that African communities, especially those threatened by water privatization, call on African governments to resist the temptation to privatize water resources.
She argued that the right thing should be to return water to localities at an affordable price under equitable management.
She said: “Local communities in Nigeria have joined other communities across the continent including Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, Uganda and a host of other countries. Africans to make this request.
“They implore African governments to prioritize water provision as a human right as opposed to a commercial enterprise.”
The Director of NELCCI recalled that in 2021, during the inaugural week of action against water privatization in Africa, civil society and labor groups on the continent resisted water privatization.
The groups, she said, launched a report entitled “Africa must rise up and resist water privatization,” which detailed how privatization had become the most potent threat to the right of Africans. at the water.
She further said that communities, working in conjunction with civil society and labor groups, under the auspices of Our Water, Our Right Africa Coalition, also opposed the idea of privatization of the water.
“In line with this, they have organized town halls, protest marches and meetings with policy makers to lobby their opposition to water privatization plans and the commodification of water.
She regretted that the price of water had been out of reach for many residents, forcing women and girls to put themselves at risk to obtain water for their basic needs.
Ms Ifeanyi-Aneke said: “Communities stand together because when they are deprived of a fundamental right that guarantees their existence, they run the risk of being annihilated.
“The main demand of the people is that African governments abandon the privatization plan and invest in public water supply systems that will directly benefit their people.”