In the village of Bhati Dilwan, Pakistan, the close proximity of a Nestlé factory extracting water from two deep wells has caused springs in the area to dry up. Citizens have been deprived of their own means of extracting water and rendered dependent on the bottled Pure Life brand for clean water.
In Nigeria, a country ranked relatively low in GDP per capita, Pure Life is sold to upper class consumers spending large portions of their incomes on bottled water. The cost of Pure Life is more expensive than the average daily income of a Nigerian citizen, and even pricier than 1L of petrol. In this scenario, citizens are faced with the unfair choice between health and poverty, becoming ill from drinking bad water but unable to afford Nestlé’s inflated prices.
Source: Urban Times.
Nestle sounds like an evil corporation using its power to gain rights to exploit water sources at the expense of local communities. This can only happen because communities do not have collective stewardship of natural resources and these can be sold off by governments that are essentially owned by the corporations. What we have is a failure in governance and communities need to empower themselves. Abby Martin gives a good summary of the issue:
The blog has become a way of expressing my feelings but there are some things that cannot be expressed in a public blog. They are part of us being human, about our relatives and relationships and not just our own story. There are a few such personal issues on my mind but the one that is most prominent is the matter of my mother’s Alzheimer’s which is becoming more difficult to manage. It is part of my life so I mention it here but I’m not going into details.
The picture was taken at a birthday lunch for my brother-in-law Alan.