Fight against water privatization in Senegal: Voices are being raised
An exchange workshop around the precious liquid took place this Monday at the headquarters of the Confederation of Autonomous Trade Unions of Senegal. The meeting, moderated by the Secretary General of the Senegalese Water Trade Unions (SDE) focused on the challenges of public water management. In this regard, civil society organizations and consumer associations have pleaded for this commodity to return to public hands. They also want regulation of the sector.
According to the United Nations, 40% of the world’s population is faced with a lack of drinking water. This scarcity of the resource is caused, in part, by global warming, population growth and, above all, the overexploitation of the latter.
Faced with this observation, the question of the distribution of drinking water arises above all in a world where it is sometimes changed to the highest bidders. It was with the aim of countering the capitalization of this natural resource that an exchange workshop was held. Discussions revolved around the privatization of this liquid which, according to the various stakeholders, is a necessity for States and populations.
“We believe that water is not a commodity; it is a right. It has no price, but a cost borne by the States. Thus, water should be left with its national and strategic character as a common good, ”says Mamadou Mignane Diouf, Coordinator of the Senegalese Social Forum.
To do this, community governance of drinking water is desired, for the sake of sovereignty and transparency.
The actors also pleaded for better management of the sector. “If we don’t regulate water and leave it at the mercy of multinationals and private companies, we will be heading towards global chaos. Because these companies do not seek the satisfaction of the populations, they seek above all to earn money. However, we should not seek to make profits on water, we should more ensure that it is well supplied and at a social rate ”, thinks Mr. Diouf.
This workshop was also an opportunity to discuss the conditions of water workers. For a better productivity of the latter, the opening of capital and the occupation of positions of responsibility in their administrations seem to be the appropriate solutions. “In other countries, employees are formed as part of the capital. And when they know it, they give themselves body and soul to maintain it at the highest level, ”said the coordinator of the Senegalese Civil Forum. Before continuing: “We must also leave an important place for these workers in managerial positions at the national level. It is inconceivable that today the director of the leasing company comes from Europe. Especially since this kind of expertise is not lacking in our country, ”he declares.
Note that Dakar will host the World Water Forum. Alongside this great meeting, an alternative forum of the same scope will be organized by associations, NGOs, etc.