Report Says Public-Public Partnerships Can Provide Safe, Affordable Water To Poor Populations

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “triggered a political controversy last week when he implicitly declared that even human rights have a market price,” Inter Press Service reports, noting Ban “admitted it is not acceptable that poor slum-dwellers pay five or even 10 times as much for their water as wealthy residents of the same cities.”

“But the reality is far different from the platitudes of the secretary-general, says a new report released by Food and Water Watch,” IPS writes. “According to the study, private operations can create obstacles to the human right to affordable and accessible water and sanitation services,” and it “says that entrusting water utility operations to private enterprises is an inadequate method of realizing the human right to water,” the article states. According to the study, “[w]hile privatized water service has been shown to obstruct the human right to water, research shows that municipalities can deliver safe, affordable water to residents by pooling resources in public-public partnerships (PUPs),” IPS writes, describing examples from Bolivia and Zambia (Deen, 8/3).