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News (195)

Trade agreements put our right to water at risk

Trade agreements like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are designed to make it easier for foreign multinational corporations to invest and do business. In doing so, they put the rights of citizens and workers second to profits. Read an Op-Ed by Abdul Somad, president of PSI affiliate Jakarta Water Workers’ Union (SP PDAM Jakarta).

Source: PSI

The Supreme Court has blocked the sale of the real properties of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System

The Supreme Court has permanently blocked the sale of the real properties and facilities of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) to private owners to pay off its tax arrears. The Supreme Court disagreed with a lower court, which had held that MWSS’s real property was not public because of a concession and could therefore be auctioned off. “All the real estate tax assessments, including the final notices of real estate tax delinquencies, issued by the local government of Quezon City on the real properties of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System located in Quezon City are declared void, except for the portions that are alleged and proven to have been leased to private properties,” the Supreme Court said.

Source: Manila Standard

Saudi Arabia’s water sector seeks private partners

Riyadh is turning to the private sector to meet the growing demand for wastewater and potable water infrastructure. “Already in the early part of 2019 contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been awarded for Saudi Arabia’s first public-private partnership (PPP) water and wastewater schemes, and more awards and tenders are expected before the end of the year. (…) The kingdom’s Water & Electricity Company (WEC), an entity fully owned by the Ministry of Finance and charged with overseeing the development of PPP desalination and wastewater projects, has awarded several contracts for the kingdoms first independent water project (IWP) and independent sewage treatment project (ISTP) since the end of 2018.”

Source: Water Technology

Ten years of gains in public healthcare, education, and social inclusion may well be reversed

Concerns are being raised about what policies toward the public sector the new president-elect, Nayib Bukele, will follow. “Bukele was mercurial as ever on the campaign trail, but his sponsor, GANA, has opposed abortion and marriage equality (a position Bukele shares), and supported water privatization and the death penalty. Ten years of gains in public healthcare, education, and social inclusion may well be reversed, and the current social movement struggles for the decriminalization of abortion and against water privatization may face devastating setbacks.”

Source: NACLA

Jakarta’s remunicipalization plan raises hope for better water service

Jakarta’s remunicipalization plan has raised hopes for better water service. “The remunicipalization plan is part on the city’s efforts to achieve 82 percent tap water coverage by 2023. The realization of this target has been slow because of the previous agreement with the private operators. Tap water coverage today sits at 59.4 percent, a sluggish increase from 44.5 percent in 1998. Activists and the public alike have long demanded remunicipalization. Although Jakarta’s plan is still underway, Badung regency in Bali has found success after ending its 20 year partnership with private firms in 2012, according to remunicipalization global tracker website remunicipalisation.org.”s.

Source: The Jakarta Post

Abuja Water Summit Rejects Privatisation Projects

Unions, civil society organisations and allies convened a Water Summit in Abuja on 29-30 January to call a halt to the water privatisation plans being foisted on the government of Nigeria and state governments by the World Bank, by the US Millennium Challenge Corporation and other groups ideologically committed to privatisation and market control.

Abuja Water Summit Rejects Privatisation Projects

Abuja Water Summit Rejects Privatisation Projects. Unions, civil society organisations and allies convened a Water Summit in Abuja on 29-30 January to call a halt to the water privatisation plans being foisted on the government of Nigeria and state governments by the World Bank, by the US Millennium Challenge Corporation and other groups ideologically committed to privatisation and market control. The meeting called on Nigeria’s president and the governor of the state of Lagos to immediately halt all negotiations on privatisation.

Source: PSI

Summit against water privatization gathers in Abuja

Global activists, unionists and human rights advocates will meet in Abuja, on 29-30 January for a national summit that aims at achieving the human right to water in Nigeria and around the world. Participants will come from communities around the world which have been directly impacted by the damages caused by private water industry.

Source: PSI

Conagua will review major contracts

Under the new administration, The National Water Commission (Conagua) “will review major contracts and in the future will avoid being predatory, said its director, Blanca Jiménez. She announced that the agency will be refounded and in principle begin to repair 60 percent of the equipment destined for emergencies… During her speech at the ceremony for the agency's 30th anniversary, Jiménez commented that the refoundation of the Conagua will be to make it a technical institution, efficient and transparent, so it begins to strengthen technically with trained and honest personnel. She ruled out the privatization of resources and announced that the National Meteorological service will be modernized to make prevention efficient.

Source: La Jornada