The political circumstances and politics of water services in Uruguay and Peru are very different. In Peru, water privatisation is still high on the political agenda whereas in Uruguay the public character of water services has been inserted into the national constitution by public referendum.
Nevertheless, the struggles for water have been and remain similar and have, amongst other things, a common vision. This vision for public-community partnerships brings trade unions and water utility (managers) together on a shared platform.
In this interview with Philipp Terhorst, three representatives of member organisations of the Platform for Public-Community Partnerships of the Americas share their experiences, visions and expectations for public-community partnerships.
Alicia Araujo is the vice-president of the state-owned national utility Administración de las Obras Sanitarias del Estado (OSE), which provides water and sewer services to all of Uruguay with the exception of the capital, Montevideo, where the municipality provides sewerage and OSE provides water services only.
Adriana Marquisio was the president of the Federation of Functionaries of OSE (FFOSE), the unitary trade union of the public utility, between 2004 and 2010.
Luis Isarra is the general secretary of the National Water and Sanitation Workers’ Federation of Peru (FENTAP).
Philipp Terhorst is coordinator of the Platform for Public-Community Partnerships of the Americas. He has a Doctorate from the Water Engineering and Development Centre at Loughborough University, and his fields of study are social movements and alternatives to privatisation.