Clean water and sanitation – recently recognised by the United Nations as basic human rights – are critical to good health. They help prevent disease. Yet billions of people have no ready access to safe water. It is an essential service that governments must provide to protect their citizens and serve their common good.
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The remunicipalisation process for Jakarta water utilities is awaiting the outcome of a court decision wherein a number of local groups have challenged the legitimacy of the original concessions awarded over ten years ago. The outcome could determine whether the city could avoid to pay huge sums to buy out the remaining years of the concession contracts.
Overall, a positive assessment, but “there are many challenges ahead”. This was the conclusion reached by the panel of speakers at a round-table discussion entitled “Ten years After Constitutional Reform in Defence of Water”, organised by the National Commission in Defence of Water and Life (CNDAV) on 9 October, at the offices of the union centre, PIT-CNT.
Water services in Colombia’s rural and peri-urban areas have traditionally been delivered by a rich variety of autonomous community-owned aqueducts. This action-research project documents the struggles of one such community to preserve and reinforce its aqueduct as an alternative to both private and ‘state’ modes of service delivery.
On 9 October, the people of Uruguay celebrated the tenth anniversary of the victorious referendum in defence of water that forced a change to the constitution. Amendments to the constitution recognised water as a basic human right and made it impossible to privatise water resources and services.
A new major trend has emerged as more and more communities insist on returning water and wastewater services to public management through remunicipalisation. The Water Remunicipalisation Tracker website continues to expand with four new cases of remunicipalisation.
The national symposium entitled “Answering the challenge of water supply in Jakarta” was held on 4 September 2014 in Al Azhar University in Jakarta, Indonesia. The event was organised by the student executive body of the Law Faculty of Al Azhar University and was attended by 147 participants including students from six universities in Jakarta.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Handbook on Core Labour Standards 2005, committed to comply with the internationally recognized core labour standards (CLS) and related labour laws in the design, formulation and operation of its loans to the developing countries. However the workers in the projects have identified union busting, harassment or physical violence against unions and discrimination and dismissals and other work-related anti-union/worker actions etc. in the projects and the compliance according to the CLS handbook is not strictly observed.