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CAPPA, Others Warn African Govts Against Privatisation Of Water Agenda

Twelve years after the United Nations (UN) Declaration of water as a human right, the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) and other water justice groups have warned African governments against privatisation agenda

Water justice groups, including CAPPA, the African Women Water Sanitation and Hygiene Network (AWWASHNET), the Ecumenical Water Network of Africa (EWN/A) and the Our Water Our Right Africa Coalition, at a webinar hosted by CAPPA, alongside the Our Water Our Right Africa Coalition, in commemoration of the 12th year of the United Nations’ Resolution declaring water and sanitation a human right,  unanimously identified privatisation as a major threat to water justice in Africa.

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While sharing in-country experiences on water governance, they also examined intersections of justice, gender, health, biosafety, human dignity, inclusion and rights of workers.

Coordinator of Biodivetsity & Biosafety Association of Kenya, Anne Maina, said communities in Kenya have been facing threats of privatisation for decades, revealing that, Veolia and Suez, being the major corporations at the forefront of water hijack, secured major contracts in consulting and construction in Kenya, t.by gaining a foothold in the country and African region at large.

She revealed how the labour and civil society have been pushing back alongside large communities of Kenyans for whom the subject matter of water is more than a mere commodity for grab but a matter of life and death-of survival!

Chief Ewuokem Atabong of SYNATEEC (Cameroon), emphasised the menance that the activities of Cameroon Water Corporation (CAMWATER) has generated, ranging from poor management to inefficiency amongst others.

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“It is important to flush corruption out of the water sector in order to achieve efficiency. For the foremost cameroonian labour activist, Cameroon has experienced both worlds, and with the terrible experiences during the privatisation regime, it is only logical that the country does not fall into that snare again,” Atabong added.

In her presentation, Veronica Nwanya of AWWASHNET, stated that the gendered nature of water crisis, like many other social, economic and political crisis cannot be wished away.

Nwanya submitted that it is imperative that the women constituent is not neglected or shortchanged in policy formulation and governance. She maintained that women are culturally saddled with most of the water-based responsibilities and chores within our communities, and are t.fore the worst hit when water is not prioritized or entreched as a human right.

Vickie Urema-Onyekuru of Child Health Organization, Nigeria, in her own submission, restated the need for states and countries in Africa to resist the pressure and bait of commodifyng water.

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She maintained that water is life and if taken away, is tantamount to taking away their lives. She however charged African governments to prioritise people above profits and consider dimensions of inclusiveness in water governance.

Uremma reiterated that the state of water after a decade and two years of Resolution 64/292 is far from satisfactory and urged that African states do better.

 

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