Oil of the 21st Century

Posted on Posted in Community, Environment

We must stop taking water for granted. Water is in almost everything , from the air we breath ,the food we take etc

 The World Bank has predicted that by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will run short of fresh drinking water. Given such a grim outlook, it comes as little surprise that Fortune magazine recently defined water as “the oil of the 21st century.”

Most of us have experienced water rationing,  have you asked your self where the problem is? What they are telling us is because of inadequate rain, but this is not the main problem.

Has Nairobi Water and Sewage company which is a government entity been sold to a private company? check out here

Recently we experienced cholera outbreak in our country, leading to death of Kenyans.

Are these scenarios related?  Yes they are related.

What is happening is water privatization.

Why does a company fight the government for many years in court to just control water, could it be that the resource(water) that we have taken for granted be that valuable?

 What pains me is that, Instead of protecting existing supplies, enhancing conservation efforts, helping vulnerable populations, curbing pollution and raising public awareness, more and more government officials throughout the world are turning to privatization — transferring the control of this precious resource from the public sector to the private sector.

 The decision to privatize water is being done largely behind closed doors — in corporate boardrooms and government offices.

Reasons to oppose water privatization

1. Privatization leads to rate increase.

 The objective of a company is to increase its profit . It often comes at the expense of water quality and customer service, but not at the expense of maintaining inflated executive salaries. Water should not be handled as  a marketable commodity, it should be handled as a basic human need and a natural resource.

2. Privatization Undermines Water Quality

Because corporate agendas are driven by profits rather than the public good, privatization usually results in the compromising of environmental standards.

Check out also : 12 reasons why plastic bags must go.

3. Companies Are Accountable to Shareholders, Not Consumers

 Companies are under little pressure to respond to customer concerns, especially when the product in question is not a luxury item that families can do without if they are dissatisfied with the performance of the only provider.

4. Private Financing Costs More than Public Financing

There is a false perception that when water services are privatized, the financial burden will shift from the public to the private sector, which will save taxpayer money by assuming the costs of repairing, upgrading and maintaining infrastructure. In reality, taxpayers simply wind up paying for these projects through their monthly bills. Tax-free public financing translates into lower-cost projects, while taxable private financing results in higher interest rates.
As a result, consumers are also forced to make these higher payments on company loans.

 5.Privatization Leads to Job Losses

Massive layoffs often follow in the wake of privatization, as companies try to minimize costs and increase profits.

6. Privatization Can Leave the Poor with No Access to Clean Water

7. Privatization Reduces Local Control and Public Rights

When water services are privatized, very little can be done to ensure that the company — be it domestic, foreign or transnational — will work in the best interest of the community. Furthermore, if a community is dissatisfied with the performance of the company, buying back the water rights is a very difficult and costly proposition. Again, the prime directive of the water companies is to maximize profits, not protect consumers.

Check out the effects of water privatization and a case study click here

2 thoughts on “Oil of the 21st Century

  1. We should not allow the privatization of basic needs of the poor,they have the right to access clean drinking water without any charges

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