Peer-to-peer Capacity Building for the South Sudan Urban Water Sector
Employees of the South Sudan Urban Water Corporation took part in a peer-to-peer capacity development course recently.The training, which was attended by 36 staff members and took place from February 24 to May 17, 2013, covered water-treatment plant operations, maintenance, and treatment-process control.
Held at the Maridi and Wau Water-Treatment Plants in Western Equatoria and Western Bahr-Al-Ghazal, it follows on the principles of the Water Operators Partnership.
Uganda’s National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) partnered with the South Sudan Urban Water Corporation to focus on increasing the technical skills of personnel in the South Sudan water sector.
Specifically, the peer-to-peer training aimed to improve operational performance of the water-treatment plants in Maridi and Wau, so as to provide sustainable and adequate water services to its growing urban population.
The assignment consisted of on-job training sessions to address the gaps and shortfalls in plant operations that had been identified through a situational analysis carried out in November 2012. Six water-treatment plant operation specialists from NWSC carried out the capacity building in Wau and Maridi, focusing on water-treatment plant operation and maintenance, establishment of a sound operational process control, water-quality monitoring, and performance measurement.
As a result of this training, staff members are mastering the importance of detail, data recording and optimization when operating a plant, and have become more proficient at repairing electro-mechanical equipment. They were also able to establish a troubleshooting guide tailored for each process unit, and to update the operation and maintenance manuals for Wau and Maridi.
The capacity-building sessions also helped the project identify some challenges, and these will continue to be addressed through this reform project in partnership with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and the South Sudan Urban Water Corporation. For instance, the low level of education, and the advanced age of some staff members, hampers their ability to adapt quickly to change and to improve systems.
A second phase of capacity building is scheduled for August 2013 and will focus on commercial orientation, communication and customer care.
SUWASA South Sudan is a three-and-half-year project that was launched on September 1, 2011. Its aim is to support the Government of South Sudan by facilitating policy and institutional reforms for to improve and sustain the supply of quality water services, especially to populations in underserved areas.