Water privatisation & struggles in Asia

06 May 2007 - Event
Date
06 May 2007
May 6, 2007, 1:00 – 3:30 pm, Doshisha University, Kyoto The 2001 Asian Development Bank (ADB) “Water for All” Policy clearly illustrates the Bank’s wide-ranging agenda in commodifying Asia’s water from resource management to provision of piped water services. Essentially, the policy promotes full cost recovery in water pricing, and steps up the entry of private investments in the water sector. ADB takes parallel efforts with the World Bank and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) in pushing for privatization in the region and even takes step further by emphasizing on the concept of “tradable water rights”. By using loans as leverage, ADB forces national governments to put in place requirements for profitability to facilitate private takeover of public services. The Review of ADB’s Water Implementation Policy in 2005 has simply affirmed the need to accelerate privatization by more than doubling the Bank’s investments in the water sector. The ADB’s new Water Financing Program targets US$ 20 billion annual investments for 2006 –2010 in making water “a core business area of ADB operations”. ADB is also co-organizing the first Asia Pacific Water Forum Summit to be held in Oita Prefecture, Japan, in December 2007, which will focus on water financing, among others. On the occasion of the 40th Annual Governors Meeting, in Kyoto, several social movements, labor unions and water campaign networks have come together in a workshop to present their critique on the ADB water privatization agenda and their struggles for water justice. This workshop specifically aims to present concrete country cases of failed water privatization and the erosion of access when water is made contingent on profitability --- constantly rising water prices, poor quality, the lack of transparency and accountability on the part private water companies, government bail-outs, increasing debt burdens, workers’ job insecurity and lack of social protection. Struggles and campaign experiences in promoting alternatives to water privatization, such as public-public partnerships (PUPs), will be shared. Background papers
Programme Opening & Objectives - Hemantha Withanage, Executive Director, NGO-Forum on ADB Overview of the Trends and Issues on Water Privatization in Asia & the Role of ADB and JBIC - MS Lidy Nacpil , Coordinator, Jubilee South –Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt & Devt (APMDD) PANEL PRESENTATIONS: Water Privatization Experiences and Struggles ■Profiting from People’s Lives: The Case of MWSS Water Privatization - Ms. Ana Maria Nemenzo, President, Freedom from Debt Coalition ■Manila Water Privatization: Suez Mismanagement & Labor Issues - Ms. Roberta Estimo, President, Maynilad Water Supervisors Union ■Indonesia Water Privatization and the Case for PUPs (tentative title) - Mr. Hamong Santono,Coordinator, Kruha, Indonesia Water Rights Coalition ■Jakarta Water Privatization: Impact on Workers and Consumers (tentative title) - Ms. Dameria Hasibuan, President, SP PDAM Jakarta, Municipal Water Supply Workers Union of DKI Jakarta ■The Case of the ADB-assisted Water Privatization in Sri Lanka (tentative) - Mr Suranjan Kodithiwakku, Coordinator, Green Movement ■Current Situation of Water Privatization in Japan and Our Struggle Against It - Mr. Kazutaka Kubota, General Secretary, Zensuido (All Japan Water Supply Workers Union) Cases of ongoing challenges to improve public water from around the world - Launcing of the book "Reclaiming Public Water" (Japanese edition) TNI and CEO Open Forum –Questions & Proposals for Action - Moderated by Mr. Noboru Inokuchi, Jichiro Summing –Up & Closing - Mr. Hemantha Withanage, Executive Director, NGO Forum on ADB Co-organizers: Jubilee South/Asia-Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), Public Services International (PSI), NGO Forum on ADB, Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), Transnational Institute (TNI), Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and AM Net