Civil society groups urge Lagos to keep transnationals from water sector
Civil society organisations (CSOs) have asked the Lagos State government to keep transnational firms from managing the state’s water sector, which they said needed critical intervention.
This is coming as the groups joined the global community to commemorate the 2018 World Water Day in Lagos last week, saying they acknowledge the state’s continued insistence that the water sector needed reengineering.
The groups stated this at the weekend during a rally from Ikeja to Government House, Alausa, to protest the state’s plans to privatise the water sector.
They include Corporate Accountability, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN); Joint Action Front (JAF); Africa Women Water Sanitation and Hygiene Network (AWWSHN); Climate Aid and Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR).
Others are Centre for Dignity; Friends of the Environment; Child Health Organisation (CHO) and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees.
During their protest, they argued that although Lagos was surrounded by water, a large segment of its citizen still lack adequate and safe drinking water and sanitation, which predisposes them to illnesses such as dysentery and cholera with grave implications on their productivity.
Speaking through their representatives, Akinbode Oluwafemi (ERA/FoEN); Achike Chude (JAF) and Vicky Urenna (CHO), among others, they said: “To reverse this lingering problem, we have demanded that the state government integrate broad public participation in developing plans to address water shortages for the overall benefit of citizens of the state.
“We are however using the occasion of the World Water Day, which is a global commemoration to reiterate our concerns on your plans in securing universal access to water through the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model of water privatisation.
“As we have mentioned time and again, evidence abounds showing that countries that had experimented the PPP and other models of water privatization have learnt bitter lessons and opted out by re-municipalising – another word for taking back water from privatisers and putting it where it should be-under public and democratic control.”
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