jueves, 13 de enero de 2011

Water Struggle in Latin America

Eventhough, Latin America is one of the regions with most abundance of fresh water resources it has one of the lowest accesses to water per capita in the world. This is due to several motives. First, the developing countries haven’t been able to provide consumable water for their habitants and have not been able to prevent the pollution of open water. In addition, since the mid-nineties the World Bank implemented a privatization policy for the water supply services, demanding it in exchange of debt relief and loans for development projects.

According to the World Health Organization, over 80% of the diseases in the developing world are caused by the lack of clean water, and subsequently cause the death of many, especially children. Therefore, it becomes primary that the transnational water companies promoted by the World Bank fulfill their obligations with the communities that contracted their services, which they have not. Instead, companies like Suez have denied the access to water to those who cannot pay and excluded small communities from the service.

On the other hand, the countries have begun to fight for their rights to supply water to all their citizens, whether or not they are able to pay. Countries like Uruguay, Mexico and Paraguay have made the access to water a constitutional right. Since Evo Morales arrived to the presidency of Bolivia it has made the water struggle one of his fights. Morales is planning to nationalize the water services in his country, to stop economic discrimination. However, this will be a complicated duty because a huge investment is needed.

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