World Water Week And Sanitation

Sept. 15, 2010, 9:56 a.m.



"The 20th World Water Week Friday issued a statement [.pdf] calling on the forthcoming High Level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals to pay more attention to water and sanitation at its concluding session," Xinhua reports. The statement, which was passed by an "overwhelming majority" of 2,500 participants, reads "Sanitation and water are not just targets or sectors. They are the fundamental basis for life and indispensable to sustainable economic and social development."

The statement also "requests the High Level Plenary Meeting to raise international commitments from all governments for the provision of sanitation and water for all with a five year drive on sanitation that is seriously lagging behind," according to the news service (9/10).

In related news, Inter Press Service examines the argument by the Berlin-based Water Integrity Network (WIN) that corruption is undermining global efforts to increase public access to clean water.

"Corruption in the water sector is a root cause and catalyst for the global water crisis that threatens billions of lives and exacerbates environmental degradation," according to WIN, the news service writes. "The water crisis, it argues, is a governance crisis with corruption at its core."

The article quotes Hakan Tropp, chair of WIN, who said it is "difficult" to track whether corruption has worsened, due, in part, to the fact "the level of transparency about investment into the water sector is far too low."

IPS notes that, according to WIN, "more than six million dollars in bribes were exchanged to win contracts and secure tenders in the bidding process" during the $8 billion Lesotho Highlands Water Project. The article also highlights WIN case studies in Kenya, San Diego, and China (Deen, 9/9).

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