Water Pumps
Why fighting corruption in the WatSan sector and in water resources management remains a priority. Back to the list
Posted: 25-9-2008
Page: 349

Water Integrety Network (WIN)

The Water Integrety Network (WIN) is Sweden advocates for fair water deals.

Corruption remains one of the least addressed challenges in relation to water resources and services. Governments, bilateral and multilateral organisations have tacitly accepted corruption in the way water is governed.

Corruption has been seen as something that could 'grease the wheels' of development efforts. In recent years, thinking has shifted, and anti-corruption measures are now perceived as central to equitable and sustainable development. 
New research and case studies increasingly show how corrupt practices are detrimental to sustainable water use and service provision, especially for the poor.

Corruption ultimately limits the scope for improving poor people's livelihood opportunities.

How? For starters, corruption siphons off scarce monetary resources and diminishes countries’ prospects for providing water and sanitation for all and sound water resources management. Corruption:

  • Reduces economic growth and discourages investments within the water sector, it is difficult for newcomers with better products to get their products into the existing corrupted market networks,
  • Undermines performance and effectiveness of both public and private sectors, leading to inefficient and unequal allocation and distribution of water resources and related services,
  • Decreases and diverts government revenues that could be used to strengthen budgets and improve water and other services, especially for poor people,
    Makes existing legislation, rules and regulations ineffective, which can drive increased water pollution and over-abstraction of ground and surface water, and
  • Dilutes the integrity of the public service sector, since discretionary decision making creates unpredictability and inequalities and can circumvent the rules of law and justice.

Why does corruption exist? 
Corruption is a symptom of governance deficiencies in both the private and public spheres. In many countries, enforcement of legislation is weak and judicial systems are inadequate. When these are combined with, for example, low wages, huge income disparities (both within and between countries) and accountability and transparency shortcomings, personal economic gain is more attractive than concern for the well-being of citizens.

Corrupution has many faces
Often corruption is associated with Governements in developping countries, however, it becomes more and more clear that this is just one aspect and that it is a widespread phenomena, present at all levels and in all kind of organizations, including NGOs and other development organizations.
In recent years it became clear that many well known International NGOs have been involved in corruption and mismanagement related with corruption.

Be aware what goes on around you and speak about it!

>> WatSan.org presents on the bottom of this page an open forum <<

Please keep your contribution objective, to the point and focussed on how organizations allow corruption practises. Do not accuse people personally; The objective of revealing corruption stories is to create awareness through showing examles of what happens in reality, thank you.