The International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, an independent part of the World Bank Group, is set to begin hearings on a Bank-backed water privatisation deal in which Bechtel took over the public water company in Bolivia’s third largest city, Cochabamba.
The Bank’s draft Water Resources Sector Strategy has been faulted by critics for distorting the findings of the World Commission on Dams, continuing to support high-cost megaprojects and emphasizing privatisation.
A broad coalition of organisations is challenging the plan to privatise Ghana’s water system. They complain that the World Bank and IMF-promoted scheme will not extend services to poorer people or ensure fair pricing. The deal - which the IMF has just made part of its new conditions for Ghana - reflects the biases of the consultants which drew it up at a cost of $3million.
US multinational Bechtel is seeking compensation from the Bolivian government after protests forced the cancellation of its contract to provide water in Cochabamba. The case has been accepted by the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, a little-known arm of the World Bank Group. Campaigners are preparing to challenge the process.
At the World Water Forum, Bonn, the World Bank distributed flyers advertising a training programme for journalists running up to the World Water Forum 2003.
The World Bank’s Inspection Panel has visited India in response to a claim filed against the Bank’s Coal India loans.
Ghanaian and international groups raise concerns about Bank-backed plans to privatise metropolitan water supply.
A new network has been launched to support NGO advocacy around freshwater issues.
An NGO concerned about a project that will cause irreversible damage to Panama Bay is calling for international support.
The Chief Minister of Gujarat has apparently hinted that he is applying to the World Bank for the Drinking Water component of the Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada river which the Bank was forced to pull out of in 1993.