Access to Water for all

How the IWA is helping Utilities in their quest to provide universal access to clean drinking water and wastewater services

Blog by: Kizito Masinde Programmes Officer for the IWA in Africa. 
 
It is my great pleasure that the IWA is hosting its third development congress in my home country of Kenya. This offers us an important platform to illustrate what the IWA is doing in Africa and how we address important water issues. The rapid population growth and urbanisation in Africa is creating challenges in the provision of basic services such as water and sanitation. In taking cognisance of this fact, the IWA is already rolling out strategic programmes aimed at mitigating these upcoming challenges. 
 
A successful example of such IWA interventions is the use of Water Safety Plans (WSPs). These plans provide water Utilities with a risk-based, preventative approach to manage their water supplies. Securing the cooperation of key stakeholders in the water sector to cooperate is vital for success. These include local water authorities, city planners and policy makers. To ensure wide penetration of best practices, we help Utilities set-up Water Operators Partnerships (WOPs). These are structured partnership between Utilities aimed at capacity building through exchange of practical knowledge. The Water Safety Plan – Water Operator Partnerships (WSP – WOPs) are proving to be game changers in helping Utilities ensure that growing populations in urban areas receive clean drinking water.
 
A new WSP – WOP project that I have been working on these  last few months involves three Utilities from East Africa Community Countries:
• The Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company Limited (KIWASCO), Kenya
• Mwanza Urban Water and Sewerage Authority (MWAUWASA), Tanzania
• National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) – Jinja Area, Uganda
 
In their bid to secure their raw water source, these  Utilities are now engaging with other stakeholders within the Lake Victoria Basin including  basin authorities, city planners and policy makers as they realised that  water treatment and supply is no longer solely a utility affair.
 
By following the steps provided under Water Safety Plans (WSP), Utilities learn how to identify and approach key stakeholders. Additionally they also gain knowledge on how to identify and approach other parties for sustainable investments to accrue operational efficiencies.
 
I am constantly looking for new examples on how Utilities can better ensure universal access to water and wastewater services in the developing world. These best practices, examples and solutions can be instrumental in advancing the access to clean drinking water and wastewater in Africa.  
 
Should you have any examples to put forth please contact me during the Congress, or send me an e-mail: Kizito.Masinde@iwahq.org
 
I am looking forward to discussing these issues with you.
 
Kizito Masinde