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Experts warn against water privatisation

Water experts and activists rejected the World Bank-supported schemes to privatise water.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2004 12:54 IST

Water experts and activists rejected the World Bank-supported schemes to privatise water.

At a water convention in the city, Merrie Mason of a US-based NGO, Sweet Water Alliance, said that water privatisation had failed in Detroit.

Water connections of 50,000 houses, she said, were cut off, as they were unable to pay hefty bills of up to $4,000.

An activist from Ghana, Adam Al Hassan said privatisation has deprived most people of water in his country. "Water is available only if we drop coins in the meter," Hassan said.

The 300 activists who left for the World Social Forum in Mumbai declared that water should remain in public hands and should be financed by reallocation of military expenditure and an effective taxation system.

The joint declaration issued by 300 delegates from 70 countries under the banner of People's World Water Movement expressed concern over the negative impact of World Bank water programmes and policies which support privatisation of water.

The declaration said privatisation models had to be replaced by sustainable alternatives. They denounced water-linking projects and the inter-basin transfer of water schemes.

First Published: Jan 16, 2004 12:54 IST