Friday, 12 June 2015 00:00

9 short-term African WOPs leading to long-term improvements

WOPs support the development of mid/long-term Peformance Improvement Plans in Africa.

The direct support to African operators was is a collaboration between GWOPA and OPEC’s Fund for International Development (OFID) to develop Performance Improvement Plans through a series of WOPs. 9 African mentee utilities, with the assistance of 5 mentors, implemented short term performance improvement action plans and developed medium term performance action plans (PIPs).

These short-term WOPs took place in numerous African countries and covered three main topics: reduction of non-revenue water, increase access to sanitation and extend service to the poor. GWOPA provided the utilities with a Manual which guided them through a 7 step process. 

The need
Africa was off-track to meeting the MDGs for water supply and sanitation, with only 19 of 50 sub-Saharan countries set to achieve the targets by 2015. Most of those without access are in rural areas however it is in cities where this number is growing fastest. Before 2030, 300 million individuals will join African towns and cities and demand services from water and sanitation operators that are already struggling to keep above water.

The role of Operators
The responsibility placed on public service providers is enormous and their capacity is often inadequate to meet growing demand. Rapid urbanization combined with inadequate resources and deteriorating infrastructure mean that achieving universal service provision is difficult and sustaining it is unrealistic under current conditions.

Developing the capacity of operators and supporting them to identify their needs is one sustainable way of addressing these challenges. Mentoring allows for operators to develop new skills and capacity and see how their peers work. The advantage of this approach is that it is low-cost, sustainable and motivational.

Short to long-term
The short-term WOPs aim to help operators diagnose needs and prepare for improvement. Collaboration between mentee and mentor provides first-hand experience of good practice and allows for tailor-made training. The outcome of the diagnosis is a constructive Performance Improvement Plan that outlines technical and capital investment requirements. These plans also help mentees consider how to manage loans and address operational issues.

Despite the fact that the implementation period of the WOPs had to be reduced in some cases from the originally planned 12 months down to 5 to 10 months, good results were yielded, including as examples:

  • Excel-based registers for key assets established in several mentee utilities, as preparatory work for future GIS and MIS; asset management teams or unit established; asset management policies adopted
  • Several “Customer Charters” were drafted and adopted by mentee utilities’ boards, and requirements for call centers were developed including claim collection and handling mechanisms (hotline, software etc)
  • Requirements for new billing systems were developed for procurement
  • Development of Terms of Reference for job review and evaluation in several mentee utilities; Organizational structures reviewed; Succession management frameworks developed; and Employees Performance management systems developed and introduced
  • Communication strategies were developed
  • Non-revenue Water: identification of pilot zones for district metering area (DMA) establishment; some utilities actually established DMAs and went through customer meter mapping in pilot zones; establishment of NRW teams; IWA Water Balance exercise done in several utilities; ongoing procurement of relevant equipment (leak detection kits, flow meters etc.)
  • GIS: on-the-job training on GIS mapping devices; capture of domestic meter locations with GIS devices conducted in pilot zones and even beyond; development of ToRs for GIS officers; in some cases GIS officers recruited

The development of the PIPs started with a participatory diagnosis of the mentee utilities, which went through a self-assessment of 23 improvement areas, identification of priorities both for the short and the medium terms, and design of short term and medium term action plans. During the implementation of the short term action plans, the mentees were exposed to good practices from the mentors during study tours, and benefited from tailored training according to their needs, during 2 to 3 follow-ups missions led by the mentors at the mentees’ premises.

Most mentee utilities decided to focus their MT PIPs on the following themes: Non-Revenue Water (NRW) Management, Operation and Maintenance (O&M), Asset Management and Human Resources. The total budgets of the 7 PIPs range from 1.62 m USD to 25.7 m USD. GWOPA learned a lot in this pilot initiative and intends to replicate the PIP WOPs in other regions. The lessons learned are captured in a second version of the PIP manual.

GWOPA has started mobilizing the International Financial Institutions for the global or partial funding of the PIPs with already some good leads. In some remarkable cases, the mentors themselves are actively and successfully.

Mentees  Mentor WOP Profile and               Perfomance Improvement Plan
Harar Water and Sewerage Authority (Ethiopia) National Water and Sewerage Company (Uganda)  
Namibia Water Corporation - NamWater

RandWater (Johannesburg / South Africa)


Nkana Water and Sewerage Company (Zambia)

Swaziland Water Services Corporation


Kigoma Urban Water Sewerage Authority KUWASA (Kenya)

Swaziland Water Services Corporation


Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (Kenya)

National Water and Sewerage Company (Uganda)


Ghana Water Company Limited (Ghana)

National Water and Sewerage Company  (Uganda)


Société Tchadienne des Eaux (Chad)

Office national de l'Eau et de l'Assainissement (Burkina Faso)


Sociéte Togolaise des Eaux (Togo)

Office national de l'Eau et de l'Assainissement (Burkina Faso)

















Additional Info

  • Description Resume: The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) is the development finance institution established by the Member States of OPEC in 1976 as a collective channel of aid to the developing countries.

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  • Water supply and sanitation is to be given more importance than any other thing in a nation. It is really a challenge to the administration to provide these properly to all the people residing in the place. It needs a better action plan and operators to implement it properly. If you need any more information regarding the plans it will be available on the write my essay services. Providing help to students to complete their academic works.

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