This documentary covers much of the same ground that last week’s A World Without Water did, and even interviews a number of the same people, but it also provides a lot of fresh material showing how the commodification of such a basic resource as water is actually killing people right here and now.
One interesting thing that was brought out in this documentary is that the World Bank and its representatives cannot be held responsible by any Government or people in the world. They are also not elected, and the people never gave them the right to intervene in National economies.
There is definitely a problem of accountability here: privatisation is being forced on people, even when it is demonstrably against their interests, but no one seems to be held accountable for it. It may be that in the end the water companies can be forced out of the country – but that doesn’t bring your dead kids back, and no one is ever prosecuted for the destruction they have caused.
On the other hand we also do see that people can organise themselves and get small-scale irrigation and water-supply systems running, that cost next to nothing on the one hand, and do not expropriate resources from the people who are dependent on them on the other hand.
As one of the interviewees says: the World Bank is great at orgainising a Billion-dollar project – but it has shown itself completely unable to organise a Million 1,000 dollar projects, and that is where the weakness is. Given the money spent – but in the right way – the resources could easily be made available to people, and without the destruction of the habitat and peoples’ ancestral homes.
There is an online petition that is mentioned at the end of the film. Please take a few minutes to visit the Article 31 website and sign it. It asks that the following article be added to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
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Some Stills from the Documentary
Damming up the Waters
Displacement owing to Dam Projects
Devastated Rivers in India
Looking at the Ganges
Slow Dripping Taps in India
Beautiful Blue Waters