Defending the human right to water in Lagos


We stalled the World Bank’s private water plans in Lagos, ensuring the people of Lagos are able to make their voices heard. The World Bank has been leading the charge to privatize water for decades, despite clear evidence that corporate control of water is a threat to health, human rights, and democracy itself. In 2014, the World Bank set its sights on Lagos, Nigeria – an influential city of more than 21 million people, where setting a privatization precedent could open the floodgates to corporate water profiteering across the continent.

But we worked with our ally Environmental Rights Action (ERA) – a long-time ally in Nigeria and close partners in our work to challenge Big Tobacco -- to shine a media spotlight on the reported deal. And our members delivered more than 65,000 emails, letters, and phone calls to World Bank officials. In response, the World Bank’s private sector arm - the IFC - declared that it would not advise Lagos on how to privatize its water. In just one month, we removed a powerful tool for driving water privatization in Lagos. And in doing so, we've bolstered democratic oversight, protected millions of people from the dangerous impacts of privatization and made it harder for corporations to take control of our water.

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