KAMPALA — The World Bank has lauded National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) for providing Ugandan citizens and essential staff with much needed water to fight the spread of COVID-19 in Uganda.
Speaking to a team from the World Bank, NWSC MD Dr. Eng Silver Mugisha, a panelist in the upcoming Water in Cities plenary, said the COVID-19 situation under which the utility provided uninterrupted water supply to critical infrastructure like hospitals, homes and communities to fight against the virus, has enabled the water utility build resilience to future shocks and stresses.
“Against all odds, NWSC has risen to the challenge by continuing to operate despite setbacks and mobilizing 3,500 staff members to carry out their daily duties. NWSC has set up and maintained a strong operational and financial performance track record through improved efficiency and cost containment initiatives,” he said.
He explained to the World Bank team that the challenges the corporation had to withstand, include the moratorium on disconnections due to lack of payment, reduction in water consumption by non-domestic users, increased need for chemicals, PPE and other materials resulting in NWSC covering all operating costs and ensuring water for all.
According to Dr. Silver, the “Water for all agenda,” has been the driving force during the COVID-19 pandemic, including maintaining water supply services to vulnerable communities like hospitals, public markets and other high population areas using public water points.
“NWSC has strengthened engagements with public water points operators to minimize disconnection of water supply to vulnerable communities, who prepay for services. We have also developed a strong sense of cost containment and prioritization while putting emphasis on development expenditure for priority infrastructure,” he added.
Dr Mugisha says the corporation has achieved a strong financial balance sheet for easy access to financial markets to obtain capital for budget support, wherever shocks and stresses happen and maintain critical flow of production inputs for business continuity and they are also using short-term high impact performance improvement plans (PIPs) to drive operational and financial sustainability