Pambazuka News 533: Special issue: Water and privatisation


While both North–South partnerships and South–South partnerships have strengths and limitations, linking these in networked models is an effective way to mobilise expertise and funding and achieve success, writes Samir Bensaid, with reference to the example of ONEP (Morocco) and SNDE (Mauritania).


A Tanzanian gold mine leaks polluted water into a major river. A mining town in Zambia is listed as amongst the most polluted places in the world. And a water pollution problem in South Africa that is caused by mining threatens national water resources. Khadija Sharife examines the hidden costs behind Africa's resource extraction reputation.

Ghana has a long history of struggle against the inequitable allocation of water - beginning with protests against colonial water policy and, more recently, with opposition to water privatisation that began in the 1990s. Alhassan Adam writes about the history, the challenge to privatisation and the road ahead.


While the Senegalese government wishes to ‘disengage financially from the water sector’, it is precisely the previous public management of water that has begun to improve infrastructure and people’s access to the resource.


Access to running water remains in a state of crisis for a huge number of people across Africa, writes Michel Makpenon. With growing urbanisation across the continent, African cities will need the political determination to ensure sustainable water resources based on social need rather than commercial concerns, he stresses.