8 Apr 2003

Fiji union to appeal to international body over loan for water

4:46 pm on 8 April 2003

An appeal is to be made to an international trade union over plans to corporatise Fiji's water supply.

Rajeshwar Singh, the general secretary of the Public Service Association, says any Asian Development bank loan to the Fiji government to upgrade its water supply will come with conditions, like privatisation.

He says he's talking to Public Service International to ask them to put pressure on the ADB to prevent this happening.

Mr Singh says the government is also making contradictory statements about whether it will or won't privatise water.

"They have been saying all the right things but it's the action that we want. The Minister is on record saying that we will not privatise but his engineer said well we are looking at corporatisation and later privatisation. While the Minister's saying we'll do an internal restructure - so, who do we believe?"

Mr Singh says up to 50 percent of people are on the poverty line and if water is privatised, they will face rising bills they can't afford.