How NWSC Became Africa’s Water Utilities’ Shinning Star

NWSC has won the African Utility of the year award three times in a row.

Uganda’s National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has been recognized as the top African Water Utility for the year 2016 during the African Utility week held in Cape Town.

The Ugandan utility emerged overall winner for being the first public agency from Africa to provide technical assistance to sister utilities in Asia. This is the third year in a row that NWSC has been voted African Utility of the year.

In declaring NWSC Uganda the winner of the 2016 edition, more about the judges said, “NWSC is one of Africa’s model Utilities providing new performance frontiers and most importantly supporting the performance improvement in other utilities across Africa and beyond.”

Other competitors for the award were, Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company from Kenya, Rand Water and UMGENI Water from South Africa and the Moshi Urban Water and Sewerage Authority Tanzania.

In 2015 National Water and Sewerage Corporation cemented its position as a key player in the water sector both on the local and international scene.

On the local scene the corporation undertook transformational changes in its operational and geographical mandate providing new homegrown solutions to water service provision challenges and highlighting its contribution to the National Vision of transforming Uganda from a peasant to a self-sustaining economy.

On the international arena NWSC sealed two very important projects, one with Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority, the biggest water utility in Bangladesh and the second with Chittagong Water and Sewerage Authority the second biggest city of Bangladesh.

The two assignments provide a Public Partnership Model making NWSC the first public agency from Africa to provide technical assistance to sister utilities in Asia. The two projects are expected to benefit over 20 million people.

The External Services division of NWSC is also providing technical assistance to water utilities to Ekiti and Adamawa states in Nigeria, Kisumu water company, Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Company and the Sierra Leone Water and Sewerage Company among others.

Speaking about the award, the MD of NWSC Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha said the award was recognition of the hard work that management and staff of the corporation had put in to expand services to more Ugandans.

“At National Water, we are committed to 100% service coverage to enable us fulfill our mantra of water for all for a delighted customer by a delighted workforce.”

In a related development NWSC was awarded the Peak of Success Trophy 2016 in Monaco on May 15 2016 by the World Confederation of Businesses.

The award is given to companies that have been winners in previous editions of the The Bizz Award but continue to improve and be at the peak of their business.

The award was presented to the NWSC Board Chairman Eng. Dr. Christopher Ebal. In receiving the award, he said the recognition would spur national water to greater performance levels to ensure that the corporation contributes to the national vision of transforming Uganda from a peasant to a modern society through efficient and cost effective provision of water and sewerage services.

According the Dr. Silver Mugisha, one of the success drivers of NWSC is participative formulation of the Strategic Direction 2013-2018.

With the appointment of Dr Silver Mugisha as the new Managing Director/CEO in August 2013, he came with a strategic outline highlighting key ingredients that helped to set the tone for a new Strategic Direction of the corporation.

All senior managers discussed the strategic outline with the rest of the staff through protracted bottom-up and top-down approaches and within one month came up with an enhanced draft Strategic Direction of the corporation.

The draft was presented to the Board of Directors who discussed it thoroughly, giving their guidance and input leading into a final draft Strategic Direction 2013-18. The final draft was then presented to the Minister of Water and Environment who also had an input that led to a final Strategic Direction (SD).

The SD was officially launched in November 2013 by the Hon Minister amidst a multiplicity of stakeholders, including staff, senior managers, the Board, senior Government officials, development partners, the media and the customers.

The SD is based on a 10-point agenda, whose key strategic focus areas are, among others;

1. Geographical/operational expansion (operational coverage has increased from 23 towns in June 2013 to 161 towns in May 2016)

2. Massive network expansion (rate of expansion has been increased from 80km per year in 2013 to 1448km per year in 2015)

3. Water supply stabilisation in all Areas

4. Improved water quality management and monitoring

5. Large project interventions, especially in Kampala Water Supply Area

6. Enhanced stakeholder engagement


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