The Ministry of Water and Environment and the Association of Private Water Operators (APWO) in collaboration with GIZ (Germany), organized and successfully conducted a Management Development Workshop for Directors of APWO from 22nd – 23rd May 2013.
The main objective of the workshop was to update the Directors on the status of the reforms in the Urban Water and Sanitation Sub sector, brainstorm on the importance of sanitation as a business in view of the planned sanitation course for Private water Operators, as well as share experiences on topical areas related to strategic business management of private water services in the small towns and rural growth centers.
This workshop was organized as part of the WAVE plus program in Uganda, which has been implemented since February 2007.
The highlights of the workshop were:
a) To review the sector policy framework for the operation of PWOs and present challenges identified to the ministry and other sector stakeholders (GIZ) for consideration and change.
b) Assess management challenges excellence and develop strategies for improvement of performance with better management strategies.
c) To introduce Directors to modern management trends
d) To provide the Directors with an opportunity to share experiences on current challenges in their business.
Participants in the workshop came from member companies of APWO with operations in over 30 towns in Uganda. The participants were directors of companies and some officials from APWO.
The two day meeting was characterized by interactive and participatory processes including plenary, group discussions. While the first day was facilitated by the WAVE Team and officials from the Ministry of Water and Environment, a team of consultants was hired to facilitate and present on different aspects of management on the second day.
The WAVE facilitation team included Joseph Epitu, Moses Rwaheru, Dennis Byamukama, Julia Kamara and Steven N. Mukiibi. The external consultant invited was from World of Inspiration. A team from Easy Money – a bill collection platform made a presentation on an alternative system receiving payment on behalf of the operators. This convenient system attracted a lot of interest and some people committed to implementing it as soon as they get out of the workshop.
There were two key outcomes from the workshop namely a memo of management challenges associated with the current arrangements to be presented to the Ministry for action and a set of draft action plans (to be completed after the workshop) to guide the actions of the directors in implementing selected actions from the lessons learnt in the workshop.
Over 500 people have walked for water and sanitation in Kampala City. The walk has reached out to over 2000 people along the 3 different walking routes. Each route was covered by different groups of walkers who finally converged at the venue in Mulago village. This year’s walk has been conducted on the World Water Day that climaxed at Mulago Primary School playground with the State Minister for Water, Hon. Betty Bigombe as the chief guest. In total, a distance of 9 km has been covered with one route starting from Bwaise the other from Kalerwe and the last from Kyebando. It involved school children including the pupils from the school of the deaf, community structures like the advocacy committees and Village Health Team and the teachers. Other stakeholders included; representatives from National Water and Sewerage Cooperation, Young Water professionals, Kampala City Council Authority, media fraternity, the garbage collecting companies and Association of Private Water Operators. UWASNET was represented by the secretariat staff, Water Aid-Uganda, Community Integrated Development Initiatives, African Evangelistic Enterprise, Water for People, Uganda Rain Water Association, Ndeeba Parish Youth Association and Action for Slum Health Development.
Among the speeches made were from the area councillor of Mulago II Parish, the Town Clerk of Kawempe Division, UWASNET, National Water and Sewerage Cooperation, Water Aid Uganda, Mayor for Kawempe Division, Director KCCA for Public Health and the State Minister for Water. Ms Alice Anukur; the Country representative of Water Aid Uganda lobbied the chief guest and the Ministry of Water and Environment to at least provide the first 10 litres of water for free to every Ugandan. Ms Gladys Nagawa, the advocacy and policy Analyst of UWASNET on behalf of the network emphasized the need for leaders to realise and implement the various commitments they made towards improving water, hygiene and sanitation in Uganda. This would greatly contribute to addressing the 13.8 million Ugandans that use unsanitary or shared latrines and the 3.2 million that have no latrine at all and defecate in the open and children especially those in the villages who walk long distances in search of water. The minister of State Hon. Betty Bigombe said “there is need to address the impact of climate change on access and sustainability of water as a key aspect towards accessing water and sanitation for all”
The honourable minister in a bid to symbolize the theme for the National Sanitation Week which was “Open defecation is a shame; use a latrine”, participated in WASH United World Toilet Cup game of kicking the poo/faeces into its right place which is the latrine. The minister together with other guests took the WASH United pledge as a symbol of realising water, hygiene and sanitation for all.
The schools that emerged the best during the National sanitation week music dance and drama competitions were award prizes as a way of motivation. The prizes included the WASH United tailored exercise books.
APWO – Uganda now has a new Coordinator, Ms. Sarah Rubereti Omodi who will be coordinating APWO activities with special focus on the EU-Vitens Evides Project on Water Asset Management where APWO is a supporting partner. Ms. Sarah who commenced her services on 1st October 2012 will be charged with, among others, ensuring successful implementation of the APWO Mandate in the VEI-EU project.
APWO’ s mandate on this project includes; Asset preventive maintenance capacity development of Private operators (POs), Vocational training of POs, Supporting administrative systems capacity development of POs, Long-term investment planning capacity development to local and regional organizations, as well as revision of performance and management contractual arrangements.
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