Our Water, Our Right
The Our Water Our Right campaign is a child of necessity. The campaign began in 2014 when the current CAPPA team in Lagos, then with the Environmental Rights Action (ERA) found out that the Lagos state government had been secretly negotiating with the World Bank to hand Lagos water resources to privatisers under a globally-discredited Public Private Partnership (PPP) structure. The Lagos government rebuffed every entreaty to adopt proven solutions within democratic control and never hid its intention of pressing ahead even with mounting public aversion to the plans. CAPPA response was to form the Our Water Our Right movement comprising of civil society, trade unions, grassroots mobilizers, and community groups to stop the plans going forward.
Since 2014 the Our Water Our Right movement has used awareness creation, advocacy activities and civil disobedience to press home its demands. The campaign continues to provide evidence to show that the Lagos water crisis is a result of decades of corruption, lack of adequate investment in the sector, lack of public consultation and refusal of the administrators of Lagos to adopt proven solutions within the realm of democratic public control.
The movement continues to score big wins in stopping water privatization in Lagos, the most outstanding being the ouster of the pro-PPP manager of the Lagos Water Corporation (LWC) in 2016, and pressure which made it impossible for two successive governors of Lagos to sign away the state’s water resources to the private water industry.
In recognition of its successes in building grassroots power to stop water privatization, the Our Water Our Right campaign received the highest votes and went on to win the water category of the Transformative Cities 2019 People’s Choice Award in Amsterdam.
The movement continues to play a central role in amplifying the voices of Lagos citizens and citizens across Nigeria resisting water privatization and recommending instead, proven solutions that help to achieve universal access.