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Bolivian President Evo Morales Leads Charge Against Privatizing Water

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  • February 16, 2011
  • 12:35 pm
Bolivian President Evo Morales Leads Charge Against Privatizing Water

Days ago, at a meeting of the World Social Forum in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, Bolivian President Evo Morales called on the organizations present as well as African leaders to block the sale of water services to private companies.

Especially in Africa, where half of the population does not have access to clean water, this is an issue of life and death. It’s also one of the most shocking ways that large companies exploit the poor in order to profit on their resources.

Documentary films have been made and organizations have been working for years to fight this trend. Large companies move into small, poor villages under the guise of helping them get access to clean water. But what ends up happening is that these companies set up pumps and charge a village for their own water supply. Often this charge is too much for many families in the village to afford, and they are forced to spend much of their earnings just to get access to water and fill the pockets of greedy corporations.

Another trend in privatization is companies who come in to pump the water from remote areas in order to bottle it and sell it for exhorbitant prices around the world. This is even happening in the United States. Because of this, many villages lose access to their own water supplies, and pristine fresh water sources are being destroyed.

Now, organizations from Food and Water Watch in the U.S. to the People’s Coalition for the Right to Water (KRUHA) in Indonesia have drafted a letter of support for Morales’ proposal.

Here is the powerful full letter of support from organizations of the World Social Forum:

As water justice advocates from five continents gathered together in Dakar, Senegal for the World Social Forum, we applaud Bolivian President Evo Morales’ proposed United Nations declaration to block the sale of public water service to private companies.

From Cochabamba, Bolivia to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, to Marseille, France, private water companies have deprived people of their human right to water in the name of profit. We oppose the dominant economic model that prescribes privatization, commercialization and corporatization of public water and sanitation services. We will counter this type of destructive and non-participatory public sector reform, having seen the outcomes for poor people as a result of rigid cost-recovery practices and the use of pre-paid meters.

Looking forward to the next World Water Forum in 2012, we will continue to denounce corporations that attempt to dictate community water service, and we will advocate for community-driven solutions that protect water as a human right, a public good and a part of the global commons.


ACRA – Associazione di Cooperazione Rurale in Africa e America Latina
ATTAC, France
Blue Planet Project, Canada
CEVI – Centre for International Volunteering, Italia
CICMA -Italian Committee for a World Water Contract
Corporate Europe Observatory
Council of Canadians
David Barkin, México
Durban Green Corridor, South Africa
Enginyeria Sense Fronteresc- Catalunya
Food & Water Watch, USA
Foro Italiano de los Movimiento por el Agua
France Libertes
Housing-Water-Sanitation Associates, Cameroon
Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement, Togo
Kenya Local Government Workers Union
Mesas Tecnicas de Agua, Venezuela
Municipal Services Project, Global
People’s Coalition for the Right to Water (KRUHA), Indonesia
Public Services International
Solange Chassot La Liane Saint Louis, Senegal
Transnational Institute, Europe
VAAL Environmental Justice Alliance, South Africa
Water Right Campaign, Turkey
Zanzibar Water Authority, Tanzania

Add your name to this letter of support right here on Care2. Show your support for organizations working to fight the privatization of water!

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Photo courtesy of USAID

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1:32PM PST on Mar 11, 2011

Morales is a true leader of his people, not the corporations.
This is an issue that has shocked and alarmed me, here, as well as in foreign countries. WATER should be a basic human right, as well as health care. Why don't leaders of countries and corporations understand that a healthy population is one, ready to work and produce better, for the country and company, as well as for themselves. WATER IS A RIGHT OF LIFE.

2:54PM PST on Mar 4, 2011

Of the three far left leaders of Latin America (Evo, Hugo and Fidel), only one (Fidel )has any leadership ability or education. Unfortunately, he is too old to lead anymore.

Who is worse, the DEA or Drug Traffickers?

10:14AM PST on Feb 22, 2011

Just another reason to simply use filters and drink tap water!

6:14PM PST on Feb 21, 2011

Here in Kansas not only is the water from a private company, they intentionally poison it with industrial waste containing mercury, arsenic, floride and other poisons! Even the EPA has complained about the Atrazine (herbicide) in our water but Kansas Health and Human Services does nothing about it.

2:15AM PST on Feb 21, 2011

A leader working for the well-being of his people ..... instead of devoting all his time to personal enrichment!

Not expecting to see it happen in the corporate controlled western world any time soon, of course .....

Viva Evo Morales !!

3:59PM PST on Feb 20, 2011

A president of the people, when was the last time, we had such a morally well adusted conjuntion?

9:40AM PST on Feb 20, 2011

The Bush family bought up 70,000 acres of ranch land in Paraguay, next door to Bolivia, when George Bush was still in office. This spread is located over the largest aquifer in so. America. Go figure!

6:42AM PST on Feb 20, 2011


9:33AM PST on Feb 19, 2011

If we let privatize the water, what could be the next things? Let´s wake up and see what we let (the companies do) they do against the natural rights human beings have.
It is not too late, wakeup citizens of the world!!!!! Tomorrow will be too late, and our children, grandchildren will pay the bill we could not WANT to put a stop!!!

6:48AM PST on Feb 19, 2011

Signed the petition. Guess it is up to us to make sure poor people have wells that we provide, help Craig Keilberger (not sure if I spelled his name right). He has been providing wells for the last few years.

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