World Bank Pushes Water Privatisation in India

A Campaign against the World Bank

Water is our most essential public resource, and it is vital that it be managed by public utilities for the public interest, not private profit. The World Bank continues to promote and fund water privatisation despite the failure of this model around the globe.

For years, the World Bank has promoted a failed water privatisation project in Nagpur, India as a “success” to be repeated worldwide. And now it is backing new plans for hundreds of Indian cities to follow the privatisation model that has been disastrous in Nagpur.

The World Bank continues to promote and fund water privatisation despite the failure of this model around the globe, in cities from Nagpur to Manila, Cochabamba to Paris – advancing corporate interests at the expense of human rights, workers’ rights, public health, the planet, and democratic principles.

Corporate Accountability International claims that the the World Bank shouldn’t get away with the propaganda and the false promises about water privatisation. So they are partnering with Indian allies to expose the truth behind the World Bank’s spin and demand strong, democratically-controlled water systems.

Stand with the p
eople of Nagpur today and tell the World Bank to stop pushing its dangerous water privatisation schemes.

Water privatisation is proven not to work in poorer countries. Inevitably, the private sector doesn’t find it profitable to invest in the level of infrastructure really needed to ensure that communities have access to clean and affordable water.  That is done more effectively by the public sector than by private corporations

It has had disastrous consequences for the poor in Nagpur,  India; including lengthy project delays, service failures, inflated bills, labour abuses, and the shut-off of scores of connections. While problems persist for the people of Nagpur, the scheme remains lucrative for global water privatising giant Veolia.

Despite these persistent failures, the World Bank Group continues to promote Nagpur as a so-called “success story” as it supports privatisation of water systems in hundreds of other Indian cities.

Working with media, international allies, labor, and community groups in Nagpur and throughout India, Corporate Accountability International are challenging the expansion of the dangerous private water industry by exposing the World Bank and industry lies.

Furthermore, financing by the International Finance Corporation (IFC – World Bank Group), which is both investor and adviser on these projects, poses a conflict of interest. On the one hand, the IFC is advising governments to privatise the sector; on the other, it is investing in the corporations that are getting those contracts. When the IFC was established in 1956, it was expressly prohibited from purchasing corporate equity to avoid this sort of conflict, but the board amended this rule a few years later, allowing these kinds of deals.

Download: “SHUTTING THE SPIGOT ON PRIVATE WATER: The case for the World Bank to divest”