Public-private partnerships were heralded as a solution to the millions who still lack access to water, but after two decades the evidence is in: they have failed. An unprecedented surge of cities is now bringing water back under public control.
The Central Jakarta District Court on 24 March annulled the water privatisation contracts of Suez (PT PAM Lyonnaise Jaya – Palyja) and Aetra, finding that the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) were negligent in fulfilling the human right to water for Jakarta’s residents.
The Premium Times - The announcement sent a collective sigh of relief to the water corporation staff and civil society activists. After months of negotiation on how to privatize the water supply in Lagos, between the World Bank and the Lagos Water Corporation, the bank has called off the talks.
Public water and electricity are back in vogue. Yet many state-owned utilities are now undergoing corporatisation: they have legal autonomy and manage their own finances. Is this a positive development in the struggle for equitable public services? Or a slippery slope toward privatization?
Lagos is among the many cities in the global south where investment in water supplies is desperately needed, yet there is no consensus on whether the answer lies with private management, the public sector, or a combination of both.
Jakarta is currently striving to join many cities around the world and remunicipalising its water. A series of fact-sheets that outline how and why water privatisation failed and the potential for a renewed effective public service.
La remunicipalisation de l’eau est un phénomène global et en plein essor. Plus de 180 villes et collectivités de 35 pays ont repris au privé le contrôle de leurs services d'eau, relève un rapport publié jeudi.
In the last 15 years there have been at least 180 cases of water remunicipalisation in 35 countries, both in the global North and South, including high profile cases in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.
Soaring water bills, a lack of transparency and under investment have persuaded governments worldwide to give back control of privatised water services to the public sector, according to a report released on Thursday.
The largest Public-Private Partnership in water sector in Germany ended in 2013 after the longstanding social mobilisation. Remunicipalisation cost a high price for the city of Berlin though. Berliners have striven for new challenges.
Despite large aid support, Ghana's privatised water utility AVRL consistently failed to meet its contractual commitments. Water is now back in state hands, but it will need increased investment and a vigilant civil society to deliver the services Ghanaians need.
Already subjected to the consequences of the European and Greek debt crisis and the resulting austerity measures, privatisation will continue to hit Thessaloniki hard. In a referendum the people voted overwhelmingly against water privatisation. While their struggle continues, they look upon the crisis as an opportunity to intensify the search for democratic alternatives.
Reorienting Development analyses what the nature, advantages, limitations and challenges of public companies are. It also offers new theoretical and conceptual insights on the nature and roles of the state and the controversial meanings of development.