Friday, July 18, 2008

Corruption in the water sector is an overlooked threat for development and sustainability

Transparency International: Corruption in the water sector is a root cause and catalyst for the global water crisis that threatens billions of lives and exacerbates environmental degradation, according to the Global Corruption Report 2008: Corruption in the Water Sector, released today by Transparency International (TI).

“Water is a resource without substitute. It is paramount to our health, our food security, our energy future and our ecosystem. But corruption plagues water management and use in all these areas,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.

The report, the first of its kind to explore the impact and scope of corruption in different segments of the water sector, identifies a range of problems, from petty bribery in water delivery to procurement-related looting of irrigation and hydropower funds; from covering up industrial pollution to manipulation of water management and allocation policies.

“Corruption’s impact on water is a fundamental governance problem, yet it is not sufficiently addressed in the many global policy initiatives for environmental sustainability, development, and food and energy security. This must change,” added Labelle.

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