The National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) managing director has said the innovativeness and planning required to face the challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic left the organization stronger and more resilient to deal with similar future shocks and stresses.
Dr. Eng Silver Mugisha, the managing director, made the remarks while speaking to World Bank officials ahead of the Water in Cities plenary.
“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, according to an official statement.
Mugisha told 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.
“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,” he explained.
“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.”
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.
The World Bank team hailed NWSC for providing Ugandan citizens and essential staff with much needed water to fight the spread of COVID-19 in Uganda.