Bartering Away Ghana’s Water

Yet another example of the worldwide stuggle to keep water public.

The award of the contract to Vtiens International, a Dutch company and Rand Water from South Africa to manage Ghana Water Company was a trade-off between the government and IMF/ World Bank, whose stench had long been in the air.

Available records show that these two institutions have been the significant drivers of water privatization and in the last decade, they have made remarkable investments in these sectors across the developing world with the aim of preparing them for privatization.

In fiscal year 2005, the World Bank spent over $7 billion in these sectors, including about $3 billion in the water and sanitation sector. Does the $1.2 million World Bank grant to Ghana for the water sector rehabilitation ring any bells?

The truth underlying water privatization is that corporations are pressuring their governments to help them penetrate lucrative overseas markets.

The institutions require governments to prepare <Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers>  PRSPs as a condition for receiving financial assistance, which must necessarily include privatization of essential services, like water. That perhaps, explains why we have had to barter away the water to multinational corporations.

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