By Felix Oketcho
Uganda has been approved to host the Africa Water and Sanitation Academy that will offer training to staff in the water and sanitation sector in all utilities in Africa.
Silver Mugisha, Managing Director at National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) explained that the African Water Academy is an institution of the African Water Association of all the utilities of Africa that has been in existence for over 40years and the idea of establishing a continental training facility was first conceived 10years ago, with Uganda fronted as best nation to host the facility.
He added that the Association agreed that NWSC designates an interim coordinator whose salary will be drawn from NWSC and the Association and plans are underway to designate the individual who will run the Academy.
“The role of the Academy would be to train future leaders for water and sanitation sector in Africa. It is just going to work as a coordination unit, managed largely from the secretariat of African Water Association in Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Cost) and the project office in the same place,” Mugisha said.
He added: “We as NWSC we are very privileged to host this academy and I think as a country, we should be privileged because it is international in nature covering the whole of Africa.”
He revealed this at the launch of the Impact Program at the International resource Center in Bugoloobi-Kampala.
According to the Corporation, the four-month Impact Program is aimed at accelerating the performance of the Corporation in order to serve its customers better and during this period, NWSC will focus on improved performance, responsive customer care, improved water production and supply and connecting more customers to their water network.
Mugisha said that what we are doing is inference of Corporate strategy of NWSC to reach Ugandans that haven’t been served but do it concurrently with efficiency after analysis in the last six years and noted Covid had an impact with service delivery.
“We came up with ways how to step up performance. Look at where we want to be and how to go there. The program will put emphasis on revenue growth that will be central to the commercial viability and financial sustainability of NWSC,” Mugisha said, adding: “All factors that feed into revenue growth such as growth in water sales and billing, reduction of non-revenue water and growth of customer base will be given due attention.”
Last week, NWSC revealed that following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the Entity was left grappling with arrears to a tune of Shs23Bn. Now, the Impact Program will work towards improving collection efficiency with a focus on recovering arrears accumulated during the countrywide COVID-19 lockdown period.
“We don’t work for loss, but commercially viable we aren’t supposed to overburden the consolidated fund. We aren’t for profit but surplus. And we invest the profit we make in assets for the corporation. Our tariff isn’t enough to cover our operation, our tariff isn’t cost recovery tariff so we do a lot of subsidies,” remarked Mugisha.