Friday, 20 January 2017

New Roadmap For Lagos Water > Crisis > > By Bayo Ogunmupe

> “The alternative roadmap for
> Lagos water crisis”, is the title of a pamphlet produced
> by the environmental
> Rights Action, the Nigerian chapter of Friends of the Earth
> International.
> The FOEI is dedicated to the
> defence of human ecosystems in terms of human rights and to
> the promotion of
> environmentally responsible governmental, commercial,
> community and individual
> practice in Nigeria through the empowerment of local
> people.
> The authors of the booklet
> are: Akinbode Oluwafemi, of the Philip Jakpor of the
> Environmental Rights
> Action, Susanna Bohme of Corporate Accountability
> International, Satoko
> Kishimoto of the Transnational Institute and Emanuele Lobina
> of Public Services
> International Research Unit, Additional research support was
> provided by Ben
> Ezeamalu and Tunji Buhari.
>  The FOENI, through
> Lagos, our water, our Right
> Campaign has mobilized local communities, labour unions,
> rights activists,
> social justice crusaders to call for transparency,
> accountability and public
> control in the management of public water
> infrastructure.
> This book: Alternative
> Roadmap for Public water Sector in Lagos State points the
> way out of the water
> crisis in Lagos. It reviews the impact and reasons for the
> failure of the
> current water system. The book also provided models from
> around the world for
> adaptation to the Lagos context, and makes specific
> recommendation that can be
> implemented by the Lagos State government and the Lagos
> State Water Corporation
> over short and long term. This way forward will ensure a
> well-functioning
> democratically governed water system in Lagos.
> The booklet: Alternative
> Roadmap for Water Sector in Lagos has six chapters, fifty
> six pages and seven
> pages of references. Also, there are thirteen symbolic
> pictures explaining the
> processes of producing adequate water in Lagos
> State.
> Lagos is surrounded by water
> from the Gulf of Guinea to the polluted Lagos Lagoon.
> Provision of adequate
> portable water to its over 21 million residents remains a
> huge challenge. The
> Lagos State Water Master Plan estimates daily water demand
> in the city at 540
> million gallons per day (MGD) and production by the Lagos
> State Water
> Corporation (LSWC) at 210 MGD. Acute water shortage in the
> state has affected
> all aspects of daily life in Lagos, particularly for
> low-income people. The
> dire situation has compromised sanitation and public health.
> In addition, the
> high cost of sourcing water has further impoverished Lagos
> residents.
> The Lagos Water Crisis has
> many causes. Decades of policies pursued since the 1980s
> have failed to expand
> and update their ageing water infrastructure. Those policies
> have largely
> promoted privatization in the form of public-private
> partnerships (PPP).
> Unfortunately, PPP have
> repeatedly failed worldwide. Their failure to provide needed
> investment have
> led to skyrocketing rates, job cuts and other anti-people
> practices.
> Also, the influence of
> financial institution such as  World Bank
> have led to the stagnation and deterioration of Lagos Water
> Infrastructure
> because such institutions prefer privatization. The failures
> outlined here were
> emphasized by Public Services International (PSI) General
> Secretary, Rosa
> Pavanelli, in her January 2016 letter to Lagos State
> Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
> Today’s hiccups are evidence
> that Lagos decision-makers have devoted themselves to
> pursuing private sector
> partners which has prevented the adoption of policies
> capable of expanding
> access to safe, affordable water. Another cause of failure
> was that no state agency,
> or LSWC has established formal mechanisms for meaningful
> public participation,
> such as water board, citizens’ utility board,
> participatory budgeting, or
> social dialogue process. This absence means that there is no
> regular, formal
> channel for Lagosians to actively and meaningfully
> participate in water
> provision policy. Indeed, officials have sought Lagosians’
> assent to plans and
> priorities of the LSWC and World Bank, rather than ensuring
> active, free, and
> meaningful participation that could guide or shape water
> policy.
> Inadequate budgeting has
> stunted water supply in Lagos. According to Lagos State
> Water Supply Master
> Plan, US $2.5billion is required to achieve needed access,
> beginning with US
> $737.66 million in the 2010-2016 period.
> The way forward in water
> supply in Lagos is putting reforms in place. Protect and
> fulfill the human
> right to water as an obligation of government. Reject all
> forms of water
> privatization.
> Numerous international
> studies demonstrated that there is no evidence that the
> private sector is more
> efficient. Also, experts have found that in most cases,
> government borrowing is
> less expensive than private sector transactions. This book
> is a must read for
> state and federal policy makers, because it contains
> valuable research
> findings.

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