African Communities Urge Governments to Refuse Water Privatisation

By Diogo Augusto

11 Nov 2022 by The Water Diplomat

Public Services International (PSI), a global union of workers in public services and Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) have held a four day event called Africa Water Week Against Water Privatisation to push against IMF and World Bank led efforts to sell water resources.

The event preceded the Cairo Water Week, but coincided with the annual World Bank and IMF meeting, and was held between the 11th and 14th of October under the theme “African Communities, Connected Struggles Against Water Privatisation.”

Activities included community water assemblies in participating countries, visits to executive and legislative bodies demanding action, petitions and rallies. In Lagos, the African Women Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Network (AWWASHNet) listened to women who work in markets explain that the lack of safe, clean water makes keeping produce fresh very costly.

Quoted by the event’s organisation, Grace Oshonaike, a  Lagos food seller, said: “Our inability to get adequate water to wash food items compromises food safety and increases the chances of food contamination. If there is adequate water this will be avoided.”

In a statement made available on the event’s website, CAPPA stated that communities from Nigeria, Mozambique, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya and Gaboon had united in this second edition of the Africa Water Week Against Water Privatisation to make their voices heard.

Akinbode Oluwafemi, Executive Director of CAPPA said in the statement: “When communities are deprived of a fundamental right that guarantees their existence and the bond that has kept them linked to their culture and spirituality for generations, they will eventually cease to exist. (…) But the message is clear. We do not want our water systems to be privatised.”