Bush shares water bed with NGOs

In: Uncategorized

22 Oct 2008

A striking feature of yesterday’s speech by George Bush at the White House Summit for International Development was how much he agrees with NGOs such as Actionaid or Oxfam. The supposed conservative demagogue and the supposed radical activists are sleeping in the same bed. The following passage on water provision clearly illusrates this shared approach. None of them are campaigning for modern water utilities for the world’s poorer countries. Note the cute PlayPumps suggestion – children working treadle pumps:

“The United States works with partner nations to deal with the lack of clean water. Last year we dedicated nearly a billion dollars to improve sanitation and water supplies in developing nations. We’re also wise enough to enlist the private sector to help, as well.

“I want to share with you an interesting program — for two reasons, one, it’s interesting, and two, my wife thought of it — (laughter) — or has actually been involved with it; she didn’t think of it. But she thought of it for this speech. She has been involved with a public-private partnership called the PlayPumps Alliance. It brings together international foundations and corporations and the U.S. government. Now, catch this: PlayPumps are children’s merry-go-rounds attached to a water pump and a storage tank. When the wheel turns, clean drinking water is produced. And as my good wife says, PlayPumps are fueled by a limitless energy source — (laughter) — children at play.

“The United States is working with our partners to install 4,000 pumps in schools and communities across sub-Sahara Africa, which will provide clean drinking water to as many as 10 million people. It’s not that hard to help people get clean drinking water. It takes focus, imagination, and effort. And I call upon all nations around the world to join us. (Applause.)”

It is also worth noting that Bob Geldof was another speaker at the event.