Initiative.The main objectives were todevelop more effective operationalsystems for water demand manage-ment to reduce NRW,carry our water audits and improve cost recoverysystems,and expand the revenue baseby establishing effective billing,accounting and revenue collectionsystems.An additional objective linkedto the above was to establish good linesof communication and improverelations between customers andthe utilities.The NationalWater and SewerageCorporation (NWSC) in Uganda wasselected as the company with therelevant experience,competence andsuitable expertise within the region tosupport these utilities through itsExternal Services Unit.NWSCsuccesses in this area are exemplary.The Managing Director recentlyreceived an award at the IWAWorldWater Congress in Montreal for leading a remarkable turnaround atNWSC over the last 12 years,duringwhich time the utility was transformedfrom a ﬁscally and operationallydysfunctional organisation to aﬁnancially sustainable and efﬁcientservice provider.
With support of NWSC’s ExternalServices Unit,each utility prepared aperformance improvementprogramme (PIP) based upon atechnical assessment of assets andconsultation with operators andcustomers.These PIPs focusedon improving the operationalperformance,covering technical andmanagerial aspects of operation andmaintenance in six operational areas(seeTable 1).Concept papers on utilitymanagement deﬁning the priorityareas for improvement and draftimplementation plan were preparedfor each of the ﬁve towns.Keyperformance indicators were selectedand targets set based on historicalperformance and upon the provisionof funding within the annual budgets.In each of the utilities,‘changeagents’from the utilities’managementteams,water board and local govern-ment were identiﬁed to act aschampions to promote the turnaroundof performance.To increase thecommitment of the managementand staff,the PIPs were signed byrepresentatives from each party andwitnessed by the Board Chairperson.These plans were shared with theclerk of works in each of the towns aswell as the governmental advisors inKenya andTanzania.
The capacity building process
Although there was a need for expenditure for immediate rehabilita-tion of the system and procurement of supplies and equipment (e.g.water quality testing kits,bulk meters,computers,software) to supportimproved operation and maintenance,the main focus of the initiative was oncapacity building.The NWSC External Services Unitadopted a combination of methods andtechniques for capacity building,which aimed at ensuring activeparticipation from as many staff at alllevels as possible.Comprehensivesituational analyses and training needsassessments were carried out andstakeholder consultations identiﬁedkey thematic areas which were used asthe basis for preparation of a capacitybuilding programme and training planfor each utility.Management and staff analyzed their performance in each of the technicaland managerial areas in the PIPthrough identiﬁcation of their respective strengths and weaknesses.These self-assessments were usedto formulate strategies to addressidentiﬁed bottlenecks and improveperformance.Vocational training for staff from each utility was then carriedout by NWSC.There were four keyfocal areas of activity:• Water demand management:water audits,leak detection surveys,andidentiﬁcation of illegal connectionstoreducenon-revenuewater(NRW).• Block mapping:Practical demon-strations were also held on how touse the equipment for surveying andcarrying out the block mappingexercise to provide baseline infor-mationwithregardtothecustomers.• Billing software development:Amore robust computer databasesystem was developed for theutilities,which was synchronizedwith block maps to allow for easyinclusion of new customers.• Commercial and customer care:alogging system was introduced tothe utilities for capturing customer
TheOperationandMaintenanceNetwork(OMN)aimstoenhancetheeffectivenessandsustainabilityofcapitalinvestmentsinwaterinfrastructureandensureimprovedservicedelivery,withbeneﬁtsforbothconsumersandtheenvironment.TheOMNplaysa leadingstrategicroleinpromotingeffectiveoperationandmaintenance,providingpracticalandauthoritative advice towaterandsanitationsystemmanagersandoperatorsinlowandmiddle-incomecountries.Itiscoordinatedbythe NationalInstituteofPublicHealthinJapanandsupportedbyIWAandWHO.Thenetworkoffers:• AccesstopracticalguidancematerialviatheonlineOMtoolbox• TechnicalassistancefromexpertsonO&Missues• Thechancetoshareknowledge,casestudiesanddevelopnewguidancematerials• AccesstoregionaleventsandworkshopslinkedtowidercapacitybuildingactivitiesAnypersonsororganisationsinterestedinreceiving supportorcontributingtothenetwork’sactivitiescanjoinbyregisteringatwww.operationandmaintenance.net.Forfurtherdetails,contactKirstendeVette:Kirsten.deVette@iwahq.org.
•Waterproductionandwaterquality •Customercareservice•Transmissionandleakagecontrol •Financeandaccounts•Billingandrevenuecollection •Humanresourceandadministration