Pambazuka (the pan-African newsletter) has released a special issue on WATER AND PRIVATISATION IN AFRICA. Pambazuka prepared this special issue in cooperation with RITIMO and Transnational Institute.
AFRICA: ACCESS TO WATER AND PRIVATISATION
Why proclaim access to water a fundamental human right?
Despite UN recognition of access ‘to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights,’ it is a right that is far from being realised in most parts of the world, writes Jacques Cambon.
THE WATER CRISIS IN AFRICAN CITIES
Access to running water remains in a state of crisis for a huge number
of people across Africa, writes Michel Makpenon. With growing
urbanisation across the continent, African cities will need the
political determination to ensure sustainable water resources based on
social need rather than commercial concerns, he stresses.
GHANA’S QUEST TO QUENCH ITS THIRST
Ghana has a long history of struggle against the inequitable
allocation of water - beginning with protests against colonial water
policy and, more recently, with opposition to water privatisation that
began in the 1990s. Alhassan Adam writes about the history, the
challenge to privatisation and the road ahead.
THE COMMODIFICATION OF WATER AND LAND IN MALI
Mali’s Dogon have traditionally seen water as a source of life and a
public good, with the right to water ‘a prerequisite to all other
human rights.’ Now the privatisation of water threatens to exclude
citizens from managing their most precious resource, leaving ‘the task
with a commercially minded technocracy’, says Sékou Diarra.
WATER PRIVATISATION: SENEGAL AT THE CROSSROADS
Olivier Petitjean and Elimane Diouf
While the Senegalese government wishes to ‘disengage financially from
the water sector’, it is precisely the previous public management of
water that has begun to improve infrastructure and people’s access to
WATER MANAGEMENT REFORM IN RURAL AREAS OF SENEGAL
Changes to the water sector in Senegal that have seen a disengagement
of the state and the promotion of the private sector have had
unforeseen effects, writes Moussa Diop. Increased waste in domestic
water consumption is one of the contradictions, while existing social
relations also have a significant impact on the water delivery
POLLUTION: AFRICA’S REAL RESOURCE CURSE?
A Tanzanian gold mine leaks polluted water into a major river. A
mining town in Zambia is listed as amongst the most polluted places in
the world. And a water pollution problem in South Africa that is
caused by mining threatens national water resources. Khadija Sharife
examines the hidden costs behind Africa's resource extraction
PUBLIC-PUBLIC PARTNERSHIPS IN WATER
Donors and development banks have largely focused on private-public
partnerships in their attempts to develop water management capacity
around the world, overlooking the vast expertise of public sector
water operators. But now they too are starting to recognise the
benefits of public-public partnerships for the provision of public
water and sanitation services, writes David Hall.
STRENGTHENING PUBLIC WATER
South–South–North public–public partnerships
While both North–South partnerships and South–South partnerships have
strengths and limitations, linking these in networked models is an
effective way to mobilise expertise and funding and achieve success,
writes Samir Bensaid, with reference to the example of ONEP (Morocco)
and SNDE (Mauritania).
THE WRONG CLIMATE FOR BIG DAMS
Why Africa should shun hydropower megaprojects
Hydropower dams are ‘well-suited for facilitating industrialisation and exploitation of natural resources, but not for reducing Africa’s energy poverty’, writes Lori Pottinger. And given the water-security
problems posed by climate change, ‘the proposed frenzy of African dam building could be literally disastrous.’
THE COST OF ADDING CARBON CREDITS TO CLEAN WATER
Linking carbon credits to clean water initiatives as a means of reducing carbon emissions is simply a corporate effort to cash in on measures to tackle climate change, writes Shiney Varghese.