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  • Peruvian workers and activist protest against the 2015 IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Lima, Peru, Oct. 9, 2015

    Peruvian workers and activist protest against the 2015 IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Lima, Peru, Oct. 9, 2015 | Photo: Reuters

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Protesters are marching to support the concept of water as a right, not a commodity to be sold for profit.

A march organized by the Peruvian state water authority, SEDAPAL, is being held in Lima, Peru, in bid to prevent the privatization of the government institution.

Social organizations, youth groups and SEDAPAL employees began marching through capital Lima to protest the government’s impending sale of the institution to private investors.

"We will take to the streets to defend the right of all Peruvians to water and sanitation and to say no to the Central Government that wants to sell the main water company to private entrepreneurs," said Luisa Eyzaguirre, SEDAPAL's secretary-general, Thursday.

"The march is also for the immediate implementation of water and sewage projects that will benefit hundreds of thousands of people whose projects have been delayed by the Government," she said, dubbing the protest a "march for water and life".

"The day will start in the Champ de Mars at 9 a.m. and at 10 a.m. we will march to the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation," Eyzaguirre continued.

Earlier in February, Juan Haro, deputy minister of the country's MVCS housing construction and sanitation ministry, said the government wasn’t considering selling the water utility, which serves Lima and neighboring Callao.

"Privatization of SEDAPAL is totally out of the question, this has never and will never enter the thoughts of the MVCS," Haro was quoted as saying by local daily Gestión.

However many fear that it will soon be sold and the water prices, for the 10 million people based in the cities it serves, will rise.

Fernando Momiy, the president of the National Sanitation Services (Sunass), denied that should there be a hike in water prices should there be a takeover.

"Companies interested in the buying SEDAPAL have pledged gradual improvement to the firm’s efficiency and lower energy costs," he said.

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