Courtesy Story: The NWSC MD Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha last Friday, January 13th 2023 held a series of marathon meetings with staff of Rushere, Ibanda and Kamwenge Areas respectively. The focus of these meetings was on individual performance accountability, business growth, cost containment, staff welfare and loyalty to the corporation values.
Lasting solutions to engineering challenges: Speaking to staff at the new water treatment plant at Rukukuru on Lake Kyengera, the MD emphasized the need to engineers to apply their minds to the engineering challenges at hand and find lasting solutions. He specifically asked the engineers to study the drop of water levels at Lake Kachera with specific emphasis on its cause, likely impact and likelihood of recurrence in the future. He tasked those lasting solutions be proposed and implemented.
The MD tasked the project team to complete the Rukukuru treatment plant in time. He guided that once complete, the plant will be managed under Rushere Area. He tasked Rushere Area to concentrate on making more water available for the customers and engage the customers effectively. In Ibanda, he thanked the team for implementing and completing water supply improvement projects in the area.
While inspecting the Mukazi Anyara project implementation whose sources are under renovation, the MD said once this project is complete, there will be no excuse for nonperformance. He thanked the team for their cohesion and maintaining a staff productivity of 3.4 staff per thousand connections. The Mukazi Anyara project includes rehabilitation of Kamukuli and Ryengoma sources, as well as upgrading of the Kagongo network line.
Accurate measurement: In Kamwenge, the MD emphasized the need for accurate measurement of performance indicators because one cannot be expected to manage what they cannot measure. He tasked the team to reduce the Non-Revenue Water which stood at 28% in December. He thanked the Kamwenge team for embracing the new performance appraisal process.
Cost containment: In separate addresses, the MD advised the three areas to take keen interest in cost containment while maximizing revenue collection. He tasked the Rushere manager and the project team to follow up on the power extension to the Rukukuru project since running the plant on a generator will be costly. He offered his full support towards expediting the electricity connection from Nyakahita. He also tasked the Rushere team to fast-track the Buremba project before schools re-open for studies.
Gratuity and salary indexation: Dr. Silver explained the delay in payment of gratuity but assured the staff that everything was being done to pay. He explained that difficult economic times which include the rise of the cost of fuel, fittings and fixtures had put pressure on the cashflow situation of the Corporation.
He said matters were made worse by the nonpayment of Government arrears amounting to over UGX45Bn.He however assured staff that the corporation was planning to index salaries with effect from July 2023. “Let us collectively work to increase the income of the Corporation as it will be the basis for our affecting this,” the MD said.
Performance appraisals and promotions: We are doing quarterly appraisals based on objective and scientific criteria. Your performance classification is the key to your success in the corporation. The MD disclosed that staff will be categorized according to classes depending on appraisal performance i.e. A+, A, B, C and D. Promotions shall be performance-basis as those who score A+ consecutively will be assured of promotions at the end of the year. “You must wake up and get serious about work,” he said.
Restructuring: The MD confirmed that a new structure has been approved. This has been done to improve performance and increase opportunities for growth. He said getting new positions will not be automatic. The positions have to be competed for. It is a performance-based exercise. It will be done in a phased manner.
Scientific approach to management: He asked staff to embrace a reading culture in order to develop themselves and the Corporation. He also asked them to be serious about their competencies. The MD emphasized that NWSC earns the money it uses to pay recurrent costs. “We cannot afford not to perform. We are an income and expenditure institution. We must make income before we can spend. Performance is critical. We must understand the nature of our business.”
Staff Satisfaction Survey: The MD thanked staff for participating in the staff satisfaction survey because it helped management to filter things that were making staff dissatisfied. He assured that board and management are committed to staff welfare and steps had been taken to improve staff satisfaction. The steps include amendments to the Human Resource Manual, Salary indexation, notch increments, long services awards and the medical scheme.Loyalty: The MD asked staff to stay committed to the corporation, work to improve the organization, support each other to grow and, avoid infighting and backstabbing each other.
- Joan Atuhwera is a Business Administration Graduate, a Human Rights activist and writer with over five years’ experience in pursuing justice for others via her keyboard. She can also be reached via email: [email protected] or WhatsApp +256774334595
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