NWSC gets award for exemplary service.To casual observers', winning comes easy, but this has not been the case for National Water and Sewerage Corporation. The company was voted the Best Public Sector Utility Company in East Africa having emerged the Best Managed Public Sector Company in Uganda in the category that was introduced in this year's survey of the East Africa’s Most Respected Company Awards.
For several years now, NWSC has been hailed as an exemplary public corporation that has succeeded where most government run entities have failed. NWSC Secretary Mr. David Kakuba described this achievement as a bankable award that has brought motivation to the team and will boost investor confidence in the company. He however said the company has treaded a thorny path up to achieve its current positioning.
Milestones The woes of the company started when the government in the early 90s relegated it into a programme of Reform and Divestiture of Public Enterprises under the Public Enterprise Reform and Divestiture (FERD). This means it was due for privatisation.
Mr. Kakuba highlights what the World Bank (WB) had said about National Water, that the over $100m that the World Bank and other donors had earlier invested, had "not been matched with the necessary efficient commercial and financial management capacity that can ensure the delivery of sustainable services in the medium to long term". (World Bank 1998).
Precisely NWSC had been written off by WB saying its performance indicators were below African utility standards and recommended that the company closes.
In 1998 an a new board of directors under the leadership of Dr. William Muhairwe, the Managing Director vowed to turn around the corporation in 100 days, or resign. The objective was to increase the value of the company that was by then operating at a monthly deficit of Shs380 million with and Shs19 billion annual revenue.
As part of the plan the company partnered with GUAFF International- a German company that was mandated to manage water supply in Kampala in under what was called the Kampala Revenue Improvement Project while the rest of the NWSC team concentrated on other towns.
Within three months the company was able to cover the deficit which Mr Kakuba says was due to a change in organisational behaviour that saw government in 2003 sign a performance partnership setting targets up to 2006 which the company surpassed.
All this was as a result of defined decentralised management structures. It entered a fresh two year contract with OSUL French Company to enhance its operations until 2005 when Kampala Water another team of NWSC staff picked on after OSUL demanded a Shs9.9 billion up from Shs4.7 billion yet it had not delivered in enough even then.
"Kampala Water picked on the contract at Shs4,7 billion and has performed tremendously well," Mr Kakuba said and government has extended another agreement to 2010.
Achievements Winning the regional award weighs because it the first time the company has been recognized at this award. Nevertheless it is vital to note that earlier in 2004 NWSC was crowned with a management merit Gold Star award by Worldwide Marketing Organisation for its excellence in leadership.
Today the company has spread away from serving 12 towns in 1998 to 22 and has eliminated middle men who constantly sold a jerry can of water at almost three or four times the normal rate, through making water more accessible with free connections, sensitisation of water usage and sup- ply of water through protected springs or boreholes, accounting for almost 100-150 litres of clean water usage per person in Kampala.
Over 71 per cent of the entire population access safe water up from 50 per cent in 1998 due to improvement in its efficiency and having reduced connection fees from over Shs300,000 to a Shs59,000. The company has been witnessing increasing revenue since then hitting Shs73 billion this year with a profit of Shs6.5 billion after depreciation.
The turnaround made by NWSC over the years from a cash-strapped utility to a viable company is described as a success story showing that local expertise can be used at great advantage. An example of its success is the fact that the NWSC recently won a $12 million (EUR 10 million) contract to run Ghana Water Company Ltd in a consortium with the Dutch firm Vitens and RandWater of South Africa. This is part of a $l20 million (EUR 100 million) World Bank-sponsored project.
According to a recent paper World Bank Institute (WBI) “the Uganda water sector offers an example of a transformational process that was driven by passionate leadership and, contrary to popular development wisdom, was front-ended by short-term results producing initiatives that led to longer- term impact."
The paper traces NWSC's progress from its near privatization at the end of last century to its current situation where it has developed enough capacity to provide consultancy to water utilities on the continent.
|-NWSC seals sewage lines from leather industries. The Daily Monitor, Tuesday March 25, 2008
|-National Water has invested in water treatment. The New Vision, Wednesday, 19th March, 2008
|-NWSC meets over stalled project. The daily Monitor, Tuesday, 11th March, 2008
|-NWSC turns to bond market for financing. Daily Monitor, Tuesday, February 26, 2008
|-Public Notice Monday, February 25, 2008
|-NWSC happy over Shs153b debt swap. The Monitor, Thursday, February 20, 2008
|-NWSC signs pact for $2.5m. The New Vision, Wednesday, February 20, 2008
|-NWSC gets Shs4b grant from WB. The Monitor, Monday, February 18, 2008
|-Water Clients rewarded. The New Vision, Monday, February 18, 2008
|-Annual Certificate of Responsibility for the Financial Year 2006/2007. Daily Monitor, Monday, February 4, 2008
|- NWSC to spend Shs500m on Wakiso water. Daily Monitor, Thursday, January 31, 2008
|-NWSC to spend sh130m in Kabale. The New Vision, Tuesday, 29th January, 2008
|-National Water in smooth flow. The Daily Monitor, Saturday, 19th January, 2008
|-National Water constructs modern research facility. The Daily Monitor, Monday, 14th January, 2008
|-NWSC to mobilise sh123b. The New Vision, Monday, 24th December, 2007
|-Water in city to be cut-off for 24 hours. The New Vision, Tuesday, 18th December, 2007
|- NWSC voted the Best Public Sector Utility Company in East Africa The East African Newspaper Survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the Nation Media Group 2007. East African’s most respective company: Recognition by peers is a fitting tribute to East Africa’s fastest-growing and most profitable firm.
|-NWSC marks 35 years in Existence. Thursday, Nov 21, The Weekly ObserverThe National Water and Sewerage Corporation is celebrating 35 years of existence. JEFF MBANGA spoke to the corporation’s managing director, Dr. WILLIAM MUHAIRWE about the company’s turn around, and the outlook for the future.
|-Status of implementation of Quality Management System (QMS) based on ISO 9001:200 in NWSC-Uganda Introduction of the specific standards for water and sanitation ISO 24510-1-2 in Uganda.
|-NWSC to host an ISO workshop organized and funded by World Bank Institute (WBI) and InWEnt (Capacity Building) from 24th to 27th July, 2007
|-NWSC successfully host Scientific and Technical Council meeting on the African Water Association at Hotel Africana which runs from 16th to 20th July, 2007.
|-Pay through Direct Debit. Customer instructs his/her banker to directly deduct the equivalent of his/her monthly water bills from his/her account.
The Quality Control Department of National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), is responsible for ensuring that quality of water produced and supplied by NWSC conforms to the National Standards for Drinking water quality as per the World Health Organisation Guidelines and sewage effluent discharged into the environment meets the National Standards for effluent discharge.
Besides being part of a support service department to NWSC operations, the laboratory offers commercial laboratory services in water, sanitation and environmental management to the public as well as private sector within and outside Uganda through the External Service Department. Since its establishment in 1994, the Department has continued to render water quality services within urban centres and a number of institutions within and without the country.
Apart from the Central Laboratory in Kampala, there are satellite laboratories
in all NWSC Operation areas. The quality of the water in supply is ensured
through a water quality monitoring (WQM) program. The establishment of
sampling points is done based on quality control requirements at the treatment
stage, and factors that determine the level of risk of recontamination
in the distribution system.
The frequency of sampling of any control point is determined based on the vulnerability for recontamination.
Laboratory analysis, database management and reporting of results is
done in conformity with WHO guidelines and the National Drinking Water
Standards. Several parameters are tested but for purposes of public awareness,
the following key parameters shall be reported on: pH, Colour, turbidity,
Residual free chlorine and E-coli.
Monthly Average Water Quality for All Areas Except Kampala for the Month of January 2008
water quality for Kampala during the period of 29th October to 4th November
Monthly Average Water Quality for All Areas Except Kampala for the Month of October 2007
Average Water Quality for Kampala during the period of 22nd to 28th October 2007.
Monthly Average Water Quality for All Areas Except Kampala for the Month of September 2007
Average Water Quality for Kampala during the period of 24th - 29th September.
View Water Quality Figures for August 2007.