The African Women Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Network (AWWASHN), a public and civil society has called on the Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode to immediately stop the proposed privitisation of public water in the state by the state government and the World Bank.
According to the chairperson of AWWASHN, Veronica Nwanya, at a public rally which started from the Obafemi Awolowo Road in Ikeja, terminating at the Governor’s office in Alausa, the group condemned the proposed Public Private Partnership (model) being initiated by the World Bank and the private water industry in lagos to privatise public water in the state.
The group stated such schemes have failed across the globe and that’s why it will vehemently oppose the moves being made by the World Bank to push water out of government’s hands in Lagos.
“Failures in water PPP models have been recorded in Manila, Philippines where, as part owner of water corporations that win PPP contracts, the World Bank has positioned itself to profit from this model.”
“This conflict of interest drives the Bank’s misleading marketing, especially its promotion of key “success stories “like Manila and Nagpur, India, where water PPPs have failed. Around the world, cities from Paris to Dar Es Salaam that have attempted to solve water crisis with PPPs have failed and have instead rolled back water privatisation and advanced down the road of remunicipalisation.”
Nwanya, urged the governor and other decision makers in to stop any form of water privatization in Lagos, including PPPs that are based on models that fail to uphold the human right to water and has locked governments into long-term contracts and enslavement of their people.
“The rave today as espoused by the United Nations in 2010 is collective investment in water infrastructure and democratic decision-making prioritising the human right to water above profits. We are ready to stand in solidarity with you and any other leader who shows a strong commitment to investing in a public water system that aims for universal access.”
AWWASHN also used the platform to ask the governor and Lagos state government to issue a public statement informing Lagos citizens of your government’s stance on Lagos’ controversial PPP water privatisation scheme, to propose and develop a comprehensive plan for achieving universal access to clean water in the state and advise the “African Women Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Network”, on how the civil society group can discuss with government on moving Lagos state towards a future where all Lagosians are drinking clean, safe water.