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This topic contains 42 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  Lorna 9 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #19542
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    Pilar Avello
    Participant

    Please watch the following video and provide some comments on the following question:

    Do you think there are more impacts than economic ones when it comes to corruption?
    Please provide some examples based on your experience and link them with the water sector.

    Why should we choose to eliminate corruption?

    Please don´t extend your comments more than 10 lines. The goal of this first forum is not to exhaust the topic, but to open a discussion. That´s why we recommend that you focus on the aspect which captures more your attention and don´t worry for answering all questions. Let´s share and build knowledge all together.

  • #19621
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    R.Fofana
    Participant

    Do you think there are more impacts than economic ones when it comes to corruption?

    when there is corruption, very few people derive egoistic profits, while the majority of people suffer.
    Example : In Benin in 2015, more than 5 000 000 $ of water project funds was share by un group of people for their personal use. But nothing happen to them because political purpuses was missed onto the affaire and those who should contribut to fight against that was paid bribes.

    https://www.voaafrique.com/a/non-lieu-pour-l-affaire-ppea-ii-au-benin/3865764.html
    There are many factors that simultaneously drive corruption and development. Education is an important case in point.

    Why should we choose to eliminate corruption?
    Because Countries that score higher in the Corruption Perception Index (i.e. countries seen as less corrupt) tend to also have better scores in the Human Development Index.

    • #19717
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      James Leten
      Participant

      Hi Fofana, and other Water Integrity friends,

      You are very right, as water is cutting across the different aspects of our socio-economic development (water and sanitation, water for food, water for environment, and others), as such, corruption in the water sectors goes beyond economic aspects. It impacts on the health situation, on childeren’s education, it erodes a coutnries’ social capital. It supports inequalty.
      Hence, if we don’t adress corruption, … we accept that the further progression of inequality.

      Dear Fofana,
      WIth regard to the document that you are sharing, do you think that inaquality as reached so far the the elite was able to also captutre justice? that in Benin not all citizen of Benin are not equally treated by justice?

    • #19835
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      lizzyigbine
      Participant

      Corruption thrives where there are distortions in Government policy and where there is low accountability.

  • #19631
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    santiagonunezr87
    Participant

    Off course there are more impacts that the economic ones in corruption issues. The environmental and social, for example, are also important consequences when it comes to corruption.

    One example of that is when the communities are affected by the collapse of a hydropower plant because of embezzlement, investment in poor materials, and/or only money-saving decision-making. Another example is when the natural resources are exploited because of a company bribe a politician just to have the license to do it, affecting with this, the community’s water supply.

    Water corruption not only affects the economy. Sustainable development and natural resources for future generations are affected as well.

    • #19715
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      James Leten
      Participant

      Hi Fofana, and other Water Integrity friends,

      You are very right, as water is cutting across the different aspects of our socio-economic development (water and sanitation, water for food, water for environment, and others), as such, corruption in the water sectors goes beyond economic aspects. It impacts on the health situation, on childeren’s education, it erodes a coutnries’ social capital. It supports inequalty.
      Hence, if we don’t adress corruption, … we accept that the further progression of inequality.

      Dear Fofana,
      WIth regard to the document that you are sharing, do you think that inaquality as reached so far the the elite was able to also captutre justice? that in Benin not all citizen of Benin are not equally treated by justice?

    • #19716
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      James Leten
      Participant

      Dear Santiago,
      Your 2 examples are very valid, corruption can take place in different forms, and can have different impacts: in your first example it costs life of certain people, in your second it affects access to water for some communities. It can also destroy natural capital, as well as health conditions downstream.
      Starting from your example of exploitation of natural resources, on can even go a step further: … when environmental standards and regulation exist in a country for wastewater discharge, then YES, wastewater pollution can also be considered as corruption, because somewhere, someone is closing eyes, probably for a favour, or to align with existing social norms.
      WIth regard to social norms, Corruption can indeed, in some countries be considered as socially acceptable. “Everyone does it , it has always been like that … why should I change the situation?”

      Dear Santiago,
      can you say that in your country, even a light version of corruption is socially acceptable?

      • #19795
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        santiagonunezr87
        Participant

        Dear James
        One of the most common phrases in my country is: “it does not matter that the politician steals, while he does something for the community”. So, in response to your question, yes, sadly a not so light version of corruption is socially accepted. First, because that always had been the case, and second, because of the war. Casually, in my country, most of the information went around the war, and a lot of corruption issues were “under the water”, and now, that we have a peace agreement, the population is finally focusing on corruption issues. This is not a justification, but I think this is one of the reasons for what corruption is socially accepted, because it was not until now, that we discovered the big impact of corruption issues.

        For the previously exposed comments, I think it is very important to understand corruption as a cultural problem that should be treated on a bottom-up basis, so we can change it since the beginning, and maybe teaching the children how to do everything with integrity. But this would take a lot of time, as always with the cultural problems. I don´t know how to treat corruption in the short term. Maybe increasing the regulation systems, or preparing the population to control and to avoid corruption issues.

        What do you think about that?

      • #19847
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        James Leten
        Participant

        Dear Santiago,
        What you present is “corruption as a norm”, meaning that it is accepted.
        One can make a difference building anticorruption activities only on a platform where the members consider and express corruption as non-acceptable.
        Try to find or build this platform. One can start at the level of 1 organisation, f.ex. a utility as a pilot. For this one needs e damnd for integrity, and a bold leader setting the exemple. It can then be expanded to more utilities that see benefits doing this, then by networking … or by a regulator imposing standards to the national network of utilities, … and as such scaling up.
        ONe need to achieve a critical mass that ask for “integrity” and that trust that it is feasable to realise.
        It is about building a collective action. See the film here in the chat
        Best
        j

  • #19652
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    haditabbara
    Participant

    Illegal wells in Lebanon resulted in lower water table with high nitrates in groundwater of rural areas, and high salt in groundwater of coastal areas, and causing severe health and environmental problems. The permits for these wells were obtained through bribery.

    We need to fight corruption to protect citizen’s health and the environment; both are victims of corruption.

    • #19671
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      Ayebale
      Participant

      this is really serious and good to know.
      This gives a strong reason to fight corruption in the water sector

    • #19718
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      James Leten
      Participant

      Dear Haditabbara and Ayebale,
      The examples of borehole drilling in order to have access to groundwater is in facts very common. It shows that corruption is not only happening in water services delivery, but also in water resources management. And as mentioned, the impact is sometimes catastrphic. Not only ofr our generation. It jeorpardise the development of the future generations. Due to corrpuption, our children and grand-children might not experience water security, which might force them into migration. It might also generate or fuel conflicts.
      As one can see, the impacts can definitly go beyond only economic impacts.

      Dear Haditabbara and Ayebale,
      What would you imagine as solutions that could adress this?

      • #19759
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        haditabbara
        Participant

        Dear James,

        What would be a possible solution to illegal mining of groundwater?

        Enforcing the law about obtaining only legal permits
        Implementing an IWRM policy and conjunctive use of surface and groundwater.

      • #19773
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        Ayebale
        Participant

        Thanks James Leten
        Among the measures, i would suggest as all stakeholders take participation, there should be practiced punishments to the caught corruption practitioners at all levels. The petty corruption category to me seems the worst to the poor and marginalised, won’t organisations, civil sociaties and other bodies have let say suggestion boxes in these villages, and get a transparent core humaniterian standards response teams to always review the complanits and act accordingly?
        When uprooted from down words maybe can pave a way to deal with top level. i stand to be corrected.
        We already know there is serious corruption in water sector, i suggest we aim at measures of digging it out.

  • #19658
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    ferbrito29
    Participant

    corruption affect the water service in latinoamerican countries and we need a legal structure to increase quality service

  • #19670
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    Ayebale
    Participant

    I very much agree with santiagonunezr87
    Corruption does not only affect economy but actually affects social, political and environmental developments
    A case is where for forexample, a driller is bribed in drilling boreholes, the recommended designs are altered in saving on materials and this of course affects the benefially, wastes donars’ money and the environmental sustainability at the end of the day.
    Corruption should be eliminated because it can lead to mistrust, loss of trade and of huge costs are involved than normal in allowing corruption to take place.

  • #19710
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    Hmaidi
    Participant

    It is more than economic impacts; from my observations as a regulator, wherever we notice corruption within the system, the following is observed:
    – more water black losses, i.e water theft through illegal connections,
    – less fee collection efficiency by the service provider,
    – in at least one case, accusation of corruption led to a localized civil unrest,
    – once a system is corrupt within a municipal department, the reputation covers all other sections in the municipality, with a corrupt system, all contractors behave accordingly: open to be corrupt and encourages others to be corrupt( contagious).

    – in limited law enforcement communities, corrupt systems may lead to the falling down of the legal system
    in all above, those who feel deprived and less fortunate, are the first to suffer, and bitterness escalates as it is not usually the poor who are corrupt.

    • #19719
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      James Leten
      Participant

      Dear Hmaidi,

      Happy to meet you again, I’m happy do discuss on this platform with one of our Water Integirty Champions.

      What is interesting in your point of view is how corruption can be contagious.
      Please share with us the civil unrest that corruption accusation generated. Was this for the good or the bad. Did the accusation created unrest in the cercels of the accused ones? or of other citizens not accepting corruption in their mids?
      How did it all evelved?

      What I find interesting is how it contaminated the other sectors, beyond the water sector. Hence, once trust in municipal civil servants is lost, it is lost across sectors , and as you say, municipaltiy and contractors handle self-interested, and forget about the common beneofits of collaborating.
      Committed to the common good would make the municipality and contractors think in terms of best quality at lowest price for the citizen.

      LOst of trust makes the actors enter in the “prisoners dilemma”.
      I recommend you all to look for the “prisoners dilemma” on the internet and share what you think of it.
      Particularly because one of the paradigm for adressing corruption is a “collective action”.

    • #19772
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      Osama.Hamad
      Participant

      very important points as always coming from Mr. Hmaidi

  • #19721
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    Kassim
    Participant

    There are much more impacts than economic ones when corruption exist. These impacts can be social, environmental and institutional among others. This is because corruption involves the denial of people to access basic social services such as water, sanitation, quality education and health through the siphoning of resources.
    A typical example in the water sector is the award of contracts on water projects to cronies by violating procurement processes and by so doing contracts fall in the hands of wrong people without the requisite skills and resources to deliver quality work. Worst of it is that, the entire projects delivery chain is corrupt such that both the contractor and supervising consultants become one leading to an unsustainable outputs and outcomes of projects.
    Elimination of corruption will lead to the eradication of poverty and the bridging of the inequality gap between the rich and the poor.

    • #19788
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      James Leten
      Participant

      Hi Kassim,
      The procurement process is indeed very sensible to corruption. Fortunally there are many different tools that can be used to strenghthen and professionalise this function. But, … “professionalising / strenghtening” requires more than a tool. It requires a willingness or a incentive to do so.
      To me, there lies one of the most important problem.
      Having a tool at reach is one thing.
      Willing, and being able to use is, is another!

  • #19722
    Profile picture of
    James Leten
    Participant

    Here a question to the group,
    We have been discussing the impact of corruption. We seem to agree that it is worth solving the problem of corruption considering it s huge impact on society.
    Some of you are already thinking in terms of sollutions: one of them is the “collective action”
    the collective action proposed different type of collective activities. they realate to social norms, legal sanctions and incentives.
    What do you think of that? Do you think it can bring a solution to corruption in the water sector? in WASH and Water resources managememntn? Is it feasable in your country?
    When looking at the video below, in which other examples are given then corruption, try to make the effor to think in terms of corruption.

    I’m looking forward to your thoughts0
    James

  • #19732
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    Eman Rahamtalla
    Participant

    Corruption is common among sudanese governemnt officials. Knowing that they will not be investegated for any encroachment. Bribes are commonly supplied by government employees. corruption also has a direct effect on moral conduct.The contiuation of corruption is largely dependent upon the absence of democracy and the participation of the working people in the decision making progress.

    • #19789
      Profile picture of
      James Leten
      Participant

      Dear Eman,
      I like your holistic approach, you are mentioning that corruption has an impact on the “moral conduct” as you say, on the “behaviour of civil servants”. Hence addressing corruption is a behaviour change. If we ambition to progress on water governance, we should invest in and study behaviour science.
      We humans are social beings, behaving in a certain way depending on the context and the environment.

      You highlight as one cause of corruption, the lack of democracy, the absence of participation of working people, of the civil society.

      In the Sudanese context, how do you think this can be facilitated? How can we have the Sudanese politicians in power open the space for this participation?

  • #19751
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    Mfundi
    Participant

    Accountability anti-corruption are critical in governing the resources and in providing qualitative service for all. There already drafted policy frame-works have been developed so far should be enforced and be used by communities to fight corruption.

    • #19790
      Profile picture of
      James Leten
      Participant

      Dear Mfundi,
      What you experience, is also what we in the sector of “technical support to development” face.
      Usually anti-fraud good intentions have been expressed, anti-corruption policies have been drafted, laws have been promulgated. As you say rightly, usually the bottleneck is located at the level of execution, when intentions, agreements, text has to be transposed to action.
      To your opinion, what makes leaders / directors / CEO of institutions in operation not taking action on this important issue. What immobilises them, even though they have to roll out and enforce anti-corruption policies and strategies decided higher up by the decision makers?

      Dear all,
      I would love to read your thoughts on this, because to me, here we reach the sinews of war.

  • #19771
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    Osama.Hamad
    Participant

    Economic impact is always a result of political interferences and “leaders” interests and what we shall consider corruption acts. Major losses in water and non return of water supplies, lack of maintenance plans, scattered water systems and lack of law enforcement all lead to inverse effect in the water sector performances.

    • #19791
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      James Leten
      Participant

      Dear Osama,
      You mention “Political capture” as another corruption cause. This also relates to clientelism and collusion.
      This is corruption at the highest level. Unfortunately, present globally.
      We try to address this with the participation of all stakeholder in the setting up and use of accountability mechanisms. The accountability mechanisms normally provide more transparency.

      How do you think one (as a community) could open the decision-making and operational space to more transparency and participation of stakeholders?
      In the context of your country is this taking place? Do you see any evolution towards more transparency and participation compared to some years, decennia ago?

  • #19800
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    palubbe
    Participant

    Do you think there are more impacts than economic ones when it comes to corruption?

    Corruption affects all areas of life; family, larger society, development efforts and work relationships. Corruption is where one thinks of themselves and forget the social collective benefit, money and resources are diverted for personal benefit and a desire to to amass all for individual benefit. A good example is where we have community water points constructed with an ulterior motive. One applies as a community and at the end of the day it turned into individual property and the rest are kept off for accessing. This has happened quite a lot and brings animosity and people of the same clan can’t talk to each other. A corrupt deal affects the community cohesion.

    We should all categorically choose to eliminate corruption so as to have equitable sharing of resources, transparency to help all have information of what belongs to them, and accountability to be able to hold all on their word especially the policy makers. This will help all to be involved and happy with the development agenda set out by the leaders.

  • #19804
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    alvinwacha
    Participant

    I think corruption in one way or another affects the several pertinent dimensions of sustainable development i.e social, economic and environment like for example in Uganda in the cattle keeping communities i.e north eastern Uganda and the western region its very clear the level of segregative allocation of water for production facilities and equipment with limited facilities in the Karamoja region compared with the western region that is in power. In other parts of the country its unheard of for districts to own equipment to maintain dams but its the order of the day in the western. This causes economic disparities due the corruption and this affects all the other dimensions as well. The water coverage in western Uganda is way above the average of other districts combined and this is being perpetrated by technocrats at the ministry that hold key positions and hail from that side.

    Its essential to eliminate corruption in the sector as this is the root cause of reduced sustainable and equitable development of communities and this greatly impacts across all the development dimensions mentioned above.

  • #19807
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    mghema
    Participant

    I met the country head of the reputed consultancy firm. their firm is within the top ten in the world. He really wants to start the consultancy in the country A. However he told me that they have submitted several proposals for several water projects and their proposal has not been selected. So it is known secret that if a company wants to get a job, then set of people has to be bribed from the political level. He told me that he cannot adopt that kind of business model, as it can reveal in the media and eventually they will lose their company reputation and business in the other part of the world. these are the companies who could bring:
    1. more suitable technologies
    2. more suitable management systems
    3. transfer knowledge and build capacity
    and many more;
    other companies may teach kind of corrupt practices,

    does it only to lose money?
    It is cancer, it kills good cells while repelling growing good cells

  • #19822
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    CarolinaZijda
    Participant

    A 1,2: In Marsabit county, Kenya, 3 water tanks where installed by an NGO to give a small community access to water. Each household would have for example 1 or 2 Jerri cans daily. As we were introducing a group of women to sack farming to be able to grow vegetables at home, we learned that some succeeded very well for a few weeks. But at some point the family, their livestock and the greens needing water could no longer sustain this project. # Grass root level – it mostly had a social impact.
    This was partly due to a large company drawing from their sources and paying (bribing locals) small money to collect thousands of liters daily, affecting the water supply to the villagers.
    A 3: We should eliminate corruption because eventually it improves the quality of life for everyone.
    I agree with Santiago, fighting corruption starts from the individual. We all have a responsibility and need to be accountable and transparent in our various positions in the society. It has to go both ways – Bottum-up and Top-Down.

    Q: Who decides the norms for ‘moral conduct’? Is there a collective understanding of what is right and what is wrong? These criss-cross through cultures, believes and various levels of society. Attempting to answer these questions can help while thinking of solutions to corruption in the water sector.

    • #19849
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      James Leten
      Participant

      Excellent question Carolina, …. who decides what is the ‘social norm’ for moral conduct?

      You know the Cherokee Parable?

      An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

      “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

      The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

      The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

      The ones that decide about the social norm is that critical mass feeding one of the two wolves so that the others are discouraged.
      It works with the 2 wolves, hence it is about a fight about which you can decide.

  • #19823
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    Eman Rahamtalla
    Participant

    Dear James
    There are certain people who control the Authority and have significant financial allocations and administrative facilities, which affects the income of other employees to accept bribes to improve their financial status, so increase their salary to fight corruption. We need to improve everything starting from down to up, from poorest people to our president

    • #19850
      Profile picture of
      James Leten
      Participant

      So you agree about the collective action approach …
      But where to start?
      With bold citizen and civil society asking for more integrity …, not per se for the whole country, …. but for ex. for a water sevice delivery in a community or municipality. It can start at that level.

  • #19848
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    Emushgirmish
    Participant

    I believe there are more impact than corruption. In may personal experience: There was a pipeline expansion to the community and the district admistration took the pipeline toward his birth place and family and passing many communities in between. Of course, those local peoples cut all the pressure main as it was HDPE and then also the administrator family were displaced until the situation get calm. Hence i would say corruption may become also life threatening.
    We should Eliminating corruption becosue, it is the only way how we can assure Good governance on water administration.

  • #19851
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    Temple Oraeki
    Participant

    The impact of corruption is more than just economic. There are Environmental, social and health impacts that arise as a result of corruption. For example, some communities lack access to clean water in Nigeria because some mining companies have bribed their way to mine and pollute the groundwater in such communities. Consumption of such polluted water has debilitating health impacts.

  • #19877
    Profile picture of
    George
    Participant

    It is true that the impacts of corruptions are beyond economic. In many scenarios in developing countries I do observe water project that are brought down by the corrupt practices by the water point management committees, anger is always the order of the day between the communities and the water point management. In some cases, this leads to bitter exchanges. On the other hand, when water projects come down due to corruption, women have to walk longer distance in search of water, school going pupils drop in academic performance, school hygiene becomes a challenge especially for the girl child.

  • #19898
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    CarolinaZijda
    Participant

    James, yes, I do know the Cherokee parable! Thank you 🙂

  • #20063
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    sameer.abusaoud
    Participant

    Why should we choose to eliminate corruption?
    Well, by eliminating corruption in the water services provision we can:
    – Minimize Non-Revenue Water and therefore increase quantities of water available to the public
    – Minimize indirect costs (costs of corruption) and achieving higher chance of full cost recovery
    – Enhance trust so donors are encouraged to fund sector’s projects, and investors are encouraged to bring new investments and ideas

  • #20248
    Profile picture of
    mayhps
    Participant

    Do you think there are more impacts than economic ones when it comes to corruption?
    yes, I think. There are many more impacts than economic.

    Nowadays, the authority make the list of country in the ascending order of eliminating corruption. According to this, the last country’s image is not good and it also affect the social environmental by flowing money in the minor things.

    We should eliminate corruption to control country’s image and to maintain the development process which is not yet sustainable development and also can maintain country’s culture and historical things.

  • #20256
    Profile picture of
    Lorna
    Participant

    There are more impacts than economic ones. Social and Environmental. In the case of social effects, in water service delivery, there are cases in some counties in Kenya where water is supplied mostly to people who have relations (associations) with the senior government officials. So perhaps if you are of the same tribe, clan or class, you are assured of water provision. In the event that there is a delay, these groups of people are able to get action faster than those who do not have these associations. It also means that because potable water is supplied to the ‘able’ while people in marginal groups do not have access to clean water may find other sources and could possibly translate to water borne diseases.
    Environmentally, we have people who pay bribes or who are powerful who allow over abstraction of water from groundwater sources, discharge of raw effluent directly into a river or construction on riparian land. Just recently in Kenya, there were a number of multi-million (KES) buildings destroyed because they were on riparian land. One of the buildings constructed abstracted the flow of water and caused major flooding in that area. It is known that this building belongs to a politician.

    We must eliminate corruption because I believe that one of the drivers of corruption is greed. Greed is a great enemy to sustainable development.This therefore means that with continued corruption, water will be unfairly distributed, there will be a steady spread of diseases and the environment will continue to be degraded.

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