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Indonesia

Most of the poor in Indonesia remain without piped water services. Only 20% of the population has access to improved drinking water sources.

In the early 1990s, when the World Bank agreed to provide a $92 million loan for water infrastructure, Bank officials were already advising the Suharto government to privatize. With key multilateral (World Bank) and bilateral (Japan) loans in place, the major corporate conglomerates Suez and RWE/Thames Water, began making moves to take over the public water system.

As a result of the World Bank pressure through a US$300 million Water Sector Adjustment Loan awarded in 1999, a new water resource bill was accepted in 2004. The bill recognizes water as a commercial good and paves the way for unabated privatization, thereby failing to protect access to clean and affordable water. This puts access to water for the poorest in jeopardy. Many groups have protested the water bill and submitted the “Declaration of Water for the People (Position to Water Resources Draft Law) The Water Resources Draft Law Belongs to the Private Sector, not Public.”PDF

Shortly after the approval of the water resource bill the Indonesian government started discussions to privatize state-run regional water companies. The move is promoted by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the government of France, whose multinational water giants Suez and Veolia stand to make huge gains on the Indonesian market once privatization occurs.

Case study:
Fiascos: Jakarta, Indonesia

NGO Forum on Indonesian Development's (INFID) Newsletter:
August 2005 (including update on the Constitutional challenge to the water law)

In the News:
2005
August: Water struggle continues in Indonesia 
July 22: Walhi to refile petition agianst water law
July 21: Minister of Public Works Guarantees Foreign Private Sector Will Not Dominate Water Resources  
July 11: Sutiyoso defends water charge increase
July 4: Residents, YLKI oppose water rate hike 
June 4: Hundreds of farmers demonstrate against water privatisation 
February 22: Class action should be filed by tap water customers

2004
December 14: Govt to let councils set water rates
November 10: Water consumers seek intervention in planned tariff hike
November 6: Foreign water firm 'abused rights'
September 4: City Water consumers urged to complain
June 17: Consumer group battles water giants over poor service
June 4: Water sector privatization looms, NGOs warn of risks
February 20: Privatization of water on the doorstep
February 14: A Delayed Victory
February 3: Court orders suspension of 2003 water rate hike
January 6: City administration quietly raises water rates by 30 percent

2003
December 12: Water Resource Policy in Indonesia: Open Doors for Privatization
December 12: World Bank and ADB’s Role in Privatizing Water in Asia
November 18: Employees sue tap water operators
November 4: Jakarta unit drains Thames cash
September 13: Endorsement sought for bill on water resources
September 10: Water resource bill needs examining
April 29: Thames Water reported for 'misappropriation'

Water for All initiated a new collaborative website to help coordinate our global campaign focusing on the water transnational, Suez. The website is tri-lingal and collects information regarding the abuses, problematic projects, community protests, and exploitative policies of Suez, Go to:
English - www.stopsuez.org
Spanish - www.fuerasuez.org
French - www.arretonssuez.org

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