The World Bank Technical Support for Utilities Operations (TSfUO) initiative team presented its findings to the WASCO management on 6th February, 2018. This follows an intensive assessment on WASCO’s operations of Metolong which commenced on May, 2016 and ended in April 2017.
The team, composed of experts in a range of technical fields made an assessment on financial management, operations and institutional structure and identified gaps which need to be filled in order for the Company to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
The TSfUO institutional expert Mr. William Mboya, highlighted the root cause of many deficiencies at WASCO as lack of motivation to act among employees leading into low morale. He further highlighted a need for capacity building plan towards changing people’s mindsets to have a concerted effort in building a legacy of possibilities for WASCO. “Creating an enabling environment that will empower employees and provide them with the necessary set of skills is key, in ensuring that the water utility improves operational efficiency,” Mr. Mboya said this in an interview following his presentation to management.
The other gaps identified were lack of proper asset management system, which would enable staff to understand the assets they operate, monitor their effectiveness and put in place a system of maintenance and replacement to avoid ordinary hiccups.
In addition, Non- Revenue Water (NRW) zero tolerance strategies need to be put in place as this is one of the key challenges facing WASCO. The TSfUO team leader John Hornby stated that for this strategy to be successful, all employees would need to understand each of their unique roles in the curbing of NRW and they would need to be empowered to exercise these roles in driving the requisite changes.
Following this meeting, WASCO is expected to come up with concrete plans to create an enabling environment for improvement and the plan should prioritize issues which have been identified as key.
The Technical Support for Utility Operations (TSfUO) at WASCO is being undertaken by SEURECA/DYNACON joint venture and funded by the World Bank, one of the funding agencies of the Metolong water supply project. The World Bank felt the need to provide this assistance since Metolong system comes with huge infrastructure and complex components which would pose a great challenge to WASCO as first-time operator of the plant.
The extended contract is expected to end in May, 2018. SEURECA an DYNACON are global water engineering companies focused on providing assistance to utilities on technical, operational support, studies, project management, design and works supervision.