Move to keep water clean

Written by Ramesh Kumar Sharma, a member of the WIN Internationa Steering Committee. Ramesh is based in Nepal and is Regional Manager in the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Fund Development Board,Nepal, a World Bank-funded programme

Water is not only the essence of life, but also the essence of livelihood and economy. Though water is a gift from nature, its usage must be equitable and justifiable on this planet. Thus, it is very important to make the management of water resources transparent and free of corruption to ensure equitable access of all people, especially of the poor, to this life resource and to stop environmental destruction from over exploitation of water resources.

Through the Global Corruption Report 2008, this issue of corruption in the water sector has been highlighted world over at global, national and local levels and its relevance has been realized by all countries, including Nepal.

The poor are also the most affected by corruption, as they have negligible say in welfare policy making and fund distribution. They are also the least empowered to influence the decision makers, the service providers and the grievance handlers.

Many countries have constitutional anti-corruption agencies or organizations to fight corruption. However, a watchful support from the civil society is always vital for them to be effective and dynamic. Therefore, the task comes as making multi stakeholder network and continuous sharing of knowledge to scale up advocacy in different contexts of the water problem. The anti-corruption agencies and policy makers must rise above political games and power play to make true impact. In this respect, this blog is opening up a common platform for all of us to meet, learn and socially contribute to improve the governance of the water sector.

In fact, we all can contribute to our nations and MDGs, if we choose to be a little more proactive and supportive of the anti-corruption movement, which is now understood as the global, national and local humanitarian need of the hour.

In water sector, we look forward to learn and scale up the best practices, use and revitalize the anti-corruption tools and methodologies at all levels of water governance and to link anti-corruption movement to the millennium development goals, like poverty reduction. This platform provided by the blog may help in developing the leadership, capacity and knowledge and to raise the voices for higher advocacy, as the members grow and the interactions become intense. This will be a great support to TI and WIN in the fight against corruption and to improve accountability and transparency in water sector governance. Like all other WIN members and water sector activists, I also look forward to learn from each others’ experiences.

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