In a bid to enhance urban sewerage management and sanitation services, the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) of Uganda hosted a benchmarking visit from the Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) of Malawi. The visit, which spanned from July 31st to August 4th, 2023, marked a pivotal moment of collaboration and knowledge exchange between the two water utilities.
A delegation of ten prominent figures from LWB, consisting of government officials and key executives, embarked on this enlightening journey. The primary objective was to gain insights into urban sewerage management, with a specific focus on NWSC’s practices and their partnership with the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
Dr. Rose C. Kaggwa, the Senior Director of Business and Scientific Services at NWSC, led the delegation in an engaging introductory session. She underscored the significance of forging partnerships in the business world and encouraged a spirit of mutual learning. The visit was seen as an opportunity for both parties to share experiences, unearth potential areas for enhancement, and fortify their collaboration.
The agenda covered a range of topics vital to modern sewerage management, including the Policy and Technical Aspects of City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) from a utility standpoint, the decentralized operations of KCCA in Sanitation and Environment Management, and the pivotal role of NWSC in sanitation services within Kampala.
Throughout the visit, the LWB delegation delved into NWSC’s rich 50-year history, gaining insights into the challenges they faced in water supply and sewerage networks. NWSC’s innovative solutions were showcased, including the involvement of development partners, technological advancements like automatic meter reading, harnessing solar energy, groundwater developments, and the integration of biogas for sewerage systems.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on these utilities was not overlooked. The delegation engaged in discussions that emphasized the obstacles the pandemic presented, as well as the avenues it opened for innovation and collaborative solutions. Eng. Johnson Amayo, NWSC’s Deputy Managing Director, provided valuable insights during an interactive session, shedding light on utility operations, financing strategies, tariff considerations, and the vital roles various stakeholders play in the sector.
The delegation also interacted with KCCA officials, who shared their experiences in implementing a City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation approach in Kampala. This entailed discussions on diverse aspects, ranging from sanitation infrastructure enhancements in households, schools, and public spaces to private sector-driven service delivery and sanitation marketing.
The visit was a comprehensive journey that allowed the LWB delegation to tour several key facilities, including the NWSC Contact Center, KCCA Fecal Sludge Management services, the Kisenyi pro-poor Water & Sanitation Services, the Nakivubo Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Kinawataka pumping station, and the Uganda Martyrs Shrine in Namugongo.
The benchmarking visit concluded with a courtesy call to NWSC’s Managing Director, Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha, reinforcing the spirit of camaraderie and shared goals between the two entities. As the LWB officials bid farewell and returned to Malawi, the outcomes of this collaborative effort promise to catalyze growth and innovation in urban sewerage management and sanitation services for both nations.
Ultimately, the benchmarking visit proved to be a resounding success, fostering mutual learning, strengthening partnerships, and laying the foundation for a more effective and sustainable approach to urban sewerage management on both sides of the border
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