Lewis claims that he has always been “interested in trade justice,” and was “appalled by the stories in Bolivia,” one of the poorest countries in South America.
The actor travelled with Christian Aid to Bolivia, to investigate the forced privatisation of essential services, including the water supply. In 1997, the World Bank made privatisation a condition of its loan to the Bolivian government – a condition which Christian Aid believes is wrong.
“Clean water is a basic human right,” said Lewis. “It's not another market to be opened up in the rush towards free trade. Allowing developing countries to protect basic services like water is as vital as debt relief and increasing aid.”|QUOTE|
During the trip to Bolivia, Lewis met Maxima Cari in El Alto, a suburb of the world’s highest capital, La Paz. Lewis learned that Maxima, like many Bolivians, cannot afford the $445 fee to connect to the water supply, which is around half the average Bolivian annual salary.
“She had to dig a well eight metres deep, to draw, filthy, muddy water for her three children to drink. I had seen poverty before, but the reasons for Maxima's poverty appalled me,” the actor commented.
Damian Lewis is known for his many roles, including Soames in The Forsyte Saga, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing and Major Richard Winters in Band of Brothers.