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FY 2021


You help protect the human right to water

This was a pivotal year for the human right to water. Communities around the world came together during the COVID-19 pandemic to demand safe water for all people—no matter their income, neighborhood, or race. While water privatizers sought to exploit the pandemic to increase profits, the water justice movement rose up to oppose and check them. We and our allies met the needs of this moment with creativity and adaptability, seizing opportunities and advancing our collective vision for a world where all people have equitable access to safe water.

Your take:

“Access to clean, safe water is a vital human rights issue for Black people all over the world. The fight for water justice in Flint, Michigan, is connected to the fight for water justice in Lagos, Nigeria. By approaching the issue from a global perspective in partnership with Black-led organizations, Corporate Accountability is helping build global power to challenge transnational corporations at the root of the problem.”


“We believe in a world where all people have easy access to the water they need to live and thrive. And we know that the best way to achieve this vision is through equitable, well-funded, and democratically controlled public water systems—whether in Africa, in the U.S., or anywhere else. Corporations should not be allowed to profit from our most basic need. We’re proud that our monthly gift supports Corporate Accountability’s powerful and strategic campaign to advance the human right to water globally.”


Together, we are mobilizing resistance to water privatization in Africa

A unique coalition of grassroots organizations and labor unions across the African region gathered this spring to launch local campaign plans challenging water privatization. Pictured: Aderonke Ige, Associate Director, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA).

Corporations that profit from privatizing water have long targeted Africa as an expansion market—and recently, they’ve been ramping up their privatization efforts around the region. That’s why, with your support, Corporate Accountability, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) (based in Lagos, Nigeria) and Public Services International (PSI) convened a historic, continent-wide gathering. Organizers around the region connected, strategized, and planned campaigns aimed at stopping water privatization and advancing the human right to water. Now, labor unions and a wide range of organizations are coordinated and actively campaigning in their communities to pressure public officials to reject privatization and support publicly controlled, equitable, and well-resourced water systems. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic, protests against Nigerian state and police violence, and a tumultuous U.S. presidential election temporarily disrupted our plans for this strategic gathering, we collectively developed creative ways to move forward. We adjusted the timing and format of the meeting to be virtual and take place over the course of several weeks, giving participants the chance to create plans and then come back together to hone and refine them. Corporate Accountability provided extensive research and technology support to participants months before the meeting took place. And we and our core lead allies spent time building relationships with participants so we were all ready to hit the ground running.

And that’s exactly what happened. In February, nearly 50 people from around the world, including Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon, the U.S., and the EU came together to strategize. There were seasoned labor organizers, water and environmental experts, community leaders, directors of local grassroots organizations, and more. Everyone was an expert in their own field, with both technical expertise and deep knowledge of their own political and cultural context.  Together, we developed powerful concrete campaign plans to stop privatization, build people power, and advance the human right to water across the continent. We look forward to reporting back next year on the fruits of these plans.

More impact:

We campaigned as part of the No Shutoffs Coalition to demand a federal moratorium on water, broadband, and electricity shut-offs. We worked closely with members of Congress to push for legislation that would keep the water, lights, and internet on, as well as secure debt forgiveness on utility bills and long-term public investment in utility infrastructure. As part of this work, the coalition supported the development of a series of videos to highlight the need to end shutoffs, including this conversation between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and ally Maria-Belen Power from Chelsea Greenroots.

We helped build a nationwide coalition in the U.S. that’s challenging water privatization and helping to shape the country’s infrastructure plans. That’s no small feat during a pandemic! Learn more here.

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