On January 16th Dr. Silver Mugisha (Managing Director of the National Water and Sewerage Corporation – NWSC), Dr. Marco Schouten (CEO of Vitens Evides International – VEI) and Dr. Fritz Holzwarth (Rector of UNESCO-IHE) signed a tri-partite Cooperation Agreement to further strengthen the collaboration between the three organizations.
Cooperation will, amongst other things, focus on undertaking joint capacity development programs and joint applied research on relevant topics related to water utility management. An important element is to strengthen the International Resource Center (IREC) of NWSC, which provides training to staff of NWSC and other water utilities. By strengthening IREC, it will be able to become a regional training and knowledge center catering to staff of water utilities in (Eastern) Africa. A strong regional training center, supported by VEI and UNESCO-IHE, will allow for much more effective and efficient capacity development for African water utilities.
The three parties of this cooperation agreement are quite diverse. NWSC is Uganda’s national water utility mandated to operate and provide water and sewerage services in 174 towns in the country. It has been globally recognized as a utility which has been able to achieve remarkable performance improvements over the past two decades. UNESCO-IHE is the largest graduate water education facility in the world, with a long history of capacity development for water supply and sanitation in Africa. VEI is the vehicle for the international corporate social responsibility agenda of six Dutch water operators and supports peer water operators in Africa and Asia on a not-for-profit basis towards realizing SDG 6 (ensuring universal access to water and sanitation).
Share a common mission
Although the different approaches and expertise, NWSC, UNESCO-IHE and VEI share a common mission: to improve the capacity of water utilities to provide water supply and sanitation services to all. Moreover, this diversity allows the partnership to combine more operational and practical utility management know-how with capacity development and applied research expertise. This makes the partnership highly relevant for addressing the challenges existing in the African water supply and sanitation sector.