- Category: Africa
Peer-to-peer learning partnerships and benchmarking
The project aims at improving the service quality to customers of African water and sanitation utilities through better financial and technical performance. Financial performance improvement aims at increasing Operation Cost Coverage Ratio and collection efficiency and technical performance with focus on the reduction of water losses. Additional parameters may be defined depending on the situation of the participating utilities and their short term improvement potential. The project aims at increasing coverage and investment through tangible improvements.
Ten peer-to-peer learning partnerships will be supported to implement a specific Performance Improvement Plan, specifying substantial improvement of critical parameters for customer service, financial and technical performance.
The benchmarking and performance assessment has provided an update of the 2009 pan-Africa Benchmarking data. These components contribute to accelerated improvement of utility performance through more intense and systematic knowledge sharing.
Promotion of management best practices
The WOP- Africa programme with the financial support of USAID will support 15 utilities for the certification process ISO 9001:2008 focusing on good management practice. This project component aims at increasing the number of champion utilities for WOP in Africa, as a response to the demand expressed by several African Water Utilities. This component will be implemented with some of those utilities with management deficiencies, as revealed by the African Utilities Performances Assessment and Benchmarking programme run by AfWA.
Special WOP Initiative on Non-revenue Water Reduction
Through a partnership with Waterlinks (US-AID funded project on NWR) to disseminate best practices recorded in a USAID-based project in Asia. The results of recent enquiries carried out with 134 African water utilities by the African Partnership of Water Operators show that 90% of these utilities have very high water losses varying from 25% to 70%, well beyond the international standards of good practices. Consequently, revenues are only generated with 50% of the produced volumes of water.
Special WOP initiative to develop PIP on pit latrine and septic tanks sludge emptying (faecal sludge management) with involvement of local private sector in service delivery, through a close collaboration with local governments who are in charge in many countries and in areas not covered by central utilities. African Utilities Performances Assessment report revealed that only very few Utilities are focusing on sanitation service delivery. Indeed, the majority of the African urban dwellers is served by latrines and septic tanks and depends on small scale private service providers for emptying and transportation of faecal sludge to disposal or treatment sites.
Nigeria WOP Initiative
Nigeria with a population of more than 140 million people, is facing the great challenge of not being able to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets. Currently, State Water Boards in Nigeria as well as an additional Board for the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja serve over 90 million of the 140 million total populations. These 37 entities are charged by law with the primary responsibility of delivering water services to the residents of all urban areas. While the State Water Boards all recognize the need for an association to represent them and to help them learn from each other, no local body is in a position to assist them in this effort at the present time. The State Water Boards also recognize that while they need a national structure to facilitate local growth and development, it is important that such a local structure be affiliated with the larger, Africa-wide and international association and programme. Finally, the State Water Boards recognize that the establishment of such link will be beneficial to the Nigerian water professionals. The purpose of this special initiative is to strengthen the Nigerian Water Board through a better coordination of WOP activities focus on emerging issues facing the Water Boards. The special initiative will focus on the weakest utilities, those displaying the lowest performances as shown in the African Utilities Performances Assessment report published every year. These initiatives will complement the ongoing project of WOP-Africa funded by the African Water Facility.
Launching of the African Water Academy
To sustain its efforts in change management and promotion of best practices in the African water sector, the Association has put up a Water Academy aiming to develop and establish new initiatives in the capacity building for institutional decision makers, experts, and management leaders in water and sanitation operations and in other associated sectors as research and development of technologies. The Academy is an official organ of AfWA. To launch its activities, AfWA will hire a Director with the mandate of implementing the Academy business plan endorsed by the Executive Board. The Academy will also serve to organize regular training event especially on the initiative identified in this project. This is to further enhance partners (mentees) problem diagnosis capacity on NRW, FSM and other WOP themes prior to launching the partnerships and the formulation of project. Hence the Academy will contribute enhancing the quality of the WOP proposals and PIPs.