|Demonstrators burn tires to block roads in south Beirut, which have suffered extensive electricity and water cuts. (Hugh Macleod/IRIN) http://electronicintifada.net/content/politicized-power-cuts-behind-deadly-riots/7328|
This should show if anything how context and politics are intertwined with issues regarding infrastructure. In Beirut, ‘most’ homes are serviced with water and electricity. Yet the quality of this service is clearly below ‘average’ and expensive. Moreover, the government continuously declares a loss in these sectors. This is attributed to several causes and one of which is that a very powerful and militarized political party's supporters do not pay for these services. The government threatened by this party does not enforce any type of cuts in the services that is different from the paying citizen. It is important to note though that a large group of this political party is low income yet a large number of low-income residents that are not supporters of this party have to pay for receiving the services. Is it fair that they suffer the burdens? In such a context, will privatization increase the problem of access and affordability or make it more equitable?
I find myself unable to answer this question yet I can highlight the polarization a private company creates. Yet I feel like I need to add that public private partnerships with subsidies provided for all low income residents by the national government regardless of political affiliations seems like the most equitable recommendation.
What do you think?
|Nahr Damour (river Damour) at the bottom of the Chouf Valley, as it flows through Jisr el Qadi, Lebanon Peripitus|