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[Nettime-nl] geef je meterstand eens door
Rob van Kranenburg on Mon, 30 May 2005 15:17:18 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-nl] geef je meterstand eens door

Ik wil meterstanden doorgeven:
Waar woont u?

From: satoko {AT} tni.org
Organization: Transnational Institute
To: waterjustice {AT} tni.org
Date: Mon, 30 May 2005 14:59:54 +0200
List-Subscribe: <https://mail.tni.org/mailman/listinfo/waterjustice>,
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Dear all, 

Vitens (the largest water company in the Netherlands)  plans to bid 
for the management contract for running Ghana's urban water. 
Vitens hopes to win the contract in a joint venture with Rand Water from 
South Africa, just like Vitens a 100% public utility. Also the French 
private water multinationals Veolia and Saur have submitted a bid in this 
latest stage of the ten-year long World Bank-driven privatisation process 
in Ghana. David Pessey of the Ghana National Coalition Against 
Privatization of Water (GhanaCAP) visited The Netherlands a few weeks ago 
to express GhanaCAP's concerns about the bid by Vitens. Together with 
Dutch NGOs, David had a meeting with Vitens on May 20th.  

I forward you the NGO letter that was sent to the CEO of Vitens after the 
meeting. The letter argues that Vitens should not engage in privatisation 
abroad but instead offer its support in improving public water supply in 
developing countries, via public-public-partnerships. For more 
information on privatisation in Ghana, see the WDM site: 
Ghana CAP: http://www.ghanacap.org/page.aspx

In solidarity, 
Satoko Kishimoto 
Transnational Institute 

Nijmegen, 26 May 2005 

To:      Jos van Winkelen
Chairman of Vitens' Executive Board
Boogschutterstraat 29A
7324 AE Apeldoorn

Cc: Provinciale Staten  Gelderland, Provinciale Staten Overijssel

Dear Mr. van Winkelen,

With this letter we would like to thank you for the opportunity to 
meet with you and express our concerns about the proposed 
privatisation of water in Ghana.  Let there be no doubt that we 
welcome Vitens' commitment to contributing to  the Millennium 
Development Goals by sharing the company's management  expertise. As 
a world-class public water company Vitens can make a  tremendous 
contribution, but bidding for the Ghana privatisation contract is 
not  the right way to move forward with this commitment.

Although the Ghana management contract is different from previously 
proposed privatisation models, it is the outcome of a ten year long 
push for privatisation  of Ghana's water by the World Bank and the 
government, in a flawed,  undemocratic process in which other options 
have not been seriously  considered. The public water company (GWCL) 
has suffered tremendously in  the process of preparing for 
privatisation; instead of reforms to improve its  capacity, GWCL was 
starved of much needed investments and staff morale was  undermined, 
leading to an outflow of professionals. The government's  
justification and the models of privatisation proposed have changed 
over time,  but the goal is still privatisation, which GhanaCAP (the 
Ghana Coalition against  Privatisation of Water), a broad based 
coalition of individuals and civil society organizations, such as 
trade unions, gender rights groups, students, residents and  
community associations, religious bodies and service delivery / 
advocacy non- governmental organizations, considers a threat to 
securing water as a common  good and a human right for all Ghanaians. 

This political context and the widespread resistance to privatisation 
is a reality that cannot be ignored by those considering bidding for 
the management contract. We assume that you, as the head of a public 
water company operating  in a country where the legal framework for 
water provision explicitly rules out  privatisation, will understand 
for the position and vision of GhanaCAP.

In GhanaCAP's opinion, the alternative to privatisation is to 
strengthen the capacity of the public water company (GWCL), for 
instance by introducing decentralisation and citizens' and consumers' 
participation to improve its accountability. GhanaCAP is a strong 
proponent of international Public Utility  Partnerships (PUPs) and 
other forms of public-public partnerships to improve  and sustain the 
management capacities of GWCL. Such PUPs can take many  forms, all 
with the bottom-line to improve the long-term local capacity for  
public water delivery. As you may know, public-public partnerships 
were  endorsed both in the modalities of the ACP-EU Water Facility 
and by the UN  Commission on Sustainable Development (April 2005) as 
key tools for  expanding clean water and sanitation in developing 

We hope that Vitens will reconsider its bid for the privatisation 
contract and instead propose the World Bank and the government of 
Ghana to explore other  options, centred on capacity building for 
GWCL as a public company, accountable to the Ghanaians. It is our 
opinion that advocating and implementing public-public partnerships 
would be the logical and innovative  way forward for Vitens in acting 
on its value added as a public company as well  as its commitment to 
the Millennium Development Goals. We would strongly  welcome Vitens 
taking a leadership role in this field and are more than willing  to 
co-operate with you in pursuing initiatives in this direction.

Thank you again for your time and please do not hesitate to contact 
us with any question or proposals for future action. 

Yours sincerely,

Friends of the Earth International -Longena Ginting
Corporate Europe Observatory - Olivier Hoedeman 
Both ENDS - Pieter Jansen, Sjef Langeveld 
Transnational Institute - Satoko Kishimoto
Ghana Coalition against Privatisation of Water- David Pessey

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