WDM in East Africa: reports from the World Social Forum and Tanzania

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

World Social Forum - here we come

It's 24 hours before I go to Nairobi, to take part in the first World Social Forum to be held on African soil .

WSF happens every few years and it is a gathering of activists on a massive scale, bringing together people from around the world with concerns about globalisation, climate change, war and conflict, land rights and many other issues. Media reports say that 100,000 are expected in Nairobi for 6 days of debate and discusison. The World Social Forum organises as an alternative to the World Economic Forum, a gathering of political and financial elites being held in Davos at Switzerland at the same time.

WDM is going to WSF as part of a group of over 30 international activists from around the world, all of us are working on water issues - including Mussa Billegeya from Tanzania and Christian Lawrence from Sierra Leone. A number of us having been planning our presence at the WSF 2007 for several months, so it is exciting that, after all that preparation, we are nearly there.

The WSF will be 20-25 January; after that I am heading to Dar es Salaam for a few days to do some research into the latest water situation there. I am particularly keen to find out what has happened to the new public water operator Dawasco, following the collapse of the water privatisation in 2005. I'm also keen to talk to civil society, NGOs and communities on the ground to see what they think.

I hope to be doing a blog every couple of days over the coming couple of weeks.

But first things first - where did I put my passport?

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