8 Apr 2003

ADB calls on Fiji to privatise water supply

5:16 am on 8 April 2003

The Asian Development Bank is urging the Fiji government to privatise its water supply department.

A 50-million US dollar loan from the bank to develop chronically problematic water supplies could depend on the government accepting the bank's recommendation.

But the Fiji representative of Public Service International, a global trade union movement, says privatisation would not work in the country because consumers would suffer.

Rajeshwar Singh says 50 percent of the population live in poverty and they won't be able to cope with an increase in water bills driven by company profits and share prices.

Mr Singh says safe drinking water is a human right everyone is entitles to and market based solutions are not appropriate.