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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.”
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.
In the News:
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:
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