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Africa Water Week: Activists, labor union march against water privatization in Cameroon

A coalition of civil society organizations, labor unions, and human right activists on Wednesday, October 13 held a campaign against water privatization in Yaounde, Cameroon.

The groups held a peaceful march to the Veolia’s offices and World Bank in Yaoundé, Cameroon, as part of the week-long activities for the Africa Water Week.

The Africa Water Week against Water Privatisation is a movement by civil societies and labor activists from Africa to build resistance to threats of water privatization in countries across the continent.

The Africa Water Week, which is the first-ever, holds from October 11 to 15, with countries like Cameroun, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda participating. The week coincides with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF)Annual Meetings holding from October 11 to 17.

Speaking on the joint action against water privatization across Africa, Younoussa Abbosouka, the Advocacy Officer of the African Center for Advocacy (ACA) said “Cameroon has already weathered one storm brought about by water privatization. Now, our government must protect us from the pressure of the World Bank, which brings strong winds blowing in favor of profits, not people. Protect Cameroon, and guarantee clear skies ahead by investing in public water.”

‘’The World Bank Group pushes privatization as a key solution to the water crisis in Africa. It is the largest funder of water management in the developing world, with loans and financing channeled through the group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC).’’

“Water is a public good, and should not be managed or controlled by a private company,” Abbosouka said.

‘’Since the 1980s, the International Finance Corporation has been promoting water privatization policies, with loans and financing tied to enacting austerity measures designed to shrink the state,’’he added

‘’The Our Water Our Right Africa Coalition is calling on the World Bank Group, ADB, IMF to end support for private water companies’’

Safe and affordable water is the basis of life. Skyrocketing water prices, failing infrastructure, jobs loses — these problems fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable among us. This is why public institutions, not private companies, must lead the development of water systems and delivery Africa.

Part of the activities for the week-long Africa Water Week is an international press conference that was held on October 13, and creating awareness about the dangers of water privatization through protest marches, and social media engagements.

The coalition of civil society organizations say continue to fight to maintain water into public domain.

Source: journalducameroun.com

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