Fight against the privatization of water: the solution of a Cameroonian activist 

Younoussou Abbosouko is an activist with the African center for advocacy. In Dakar as part of the Alternative World Water Forum, he gave the example of his country.“In 2008, people were made to believe that privatization was a solution. It was not the case. The promised infrastructure has not been built, the price of water has increased. Women, children, girls and people with disabilities were the most affected,” he explained. The concession with Cameroon Water Utilities ended in October 2018. He and his comrades had taken note of the lesson from Nigeria. “We did it according to the Cameroonian context by asking people how many people know that water is a human right. Because the private sector abuses our unconsciousness in relation to our rights. Hence the work of raising awareness. This done, we identified the different groups – trade unions, religious, civil society – and created a coalition to share the common idea,” he said.The difficulty was to be heard at the state level. The organization of marches was not possible, as in Nigeria. They therefore organized meetings and lobbied with members of the government, not without involving international partners.

“In Cameroon, the government reacts when a problem is raised outside. This is how we were able to make our voices heard. When leading a fight of this kind, it is important to take into account the national context and implement the solutions. But the challenge is to have the right to water recognized in the Constitution, as is the case in Kenya,” said Abbosouko.The activist remains vigilant all the same. The threat of a return of the private hovers. He cites the Veolia and Suez groups. “The private sector is using a new technique by creating problems between the company that manages the water and the supervising minister to come and present itself as a savior”, he warns again.

Source: Le JDD

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