Hmm… So, Ziad Sayegh, the CEO of the Civic Influence Hub which is launching the Blue Gold Project, estimates that the project will cost US $5 billion – and that the majority of this money will come from the private sector – but – although the “Lebanon’s private sector will invest, [he] insists the plan does not amount to privatization of the water network.”
Uh… so, the logic is that the private sector will spend billions of dollars into a project, and then allow the public sector – the government – to control the source, distribution, and billing of this network?Really?
Sayegh continues to claim that Blue Gold does not amount to privatization – although in their own Blue Gold booklet, they speak quite clearly that the “private sector must” have control of the distribution, billing, and source of water. Isn’t that privatization?
What does he want to do?
“the vision requires a complete legal and regulatory overhaul of the water sector, including anti-monopoly laws and specific public-private partnership laws, with political top cover to implement. Sayegh hopes to replace the current water authorities, run by the Ministry of Energy and Water, with a National Water Council, a Water Regulatory Authority, a National Monitoring Center and a users’ association, as well as an independent watchdog.
“It’s time to lobby. There is no time to lose. We are working in parallel with the decision-makers and should be ready to submit to the parliament a serious, comprehensive and consultative law for the national water council in three months.”
The devil is in the details. This “independent watchdog” is already a part of the Civic Influence Hub (as their own booklet indicates), so, not quite ‘independent.” And this new oversight that Sayegh and company are planning lack transparency and accountability.
No to further privatization!
Yes to cleaning our government from its corruption and mismanagement.
Yes to enabling our government to provide what is our RIGHT: access to clean water to all.