VEI started to work with Bulawayo City Council in 2017 under a Nuffic-sponsored training project. Subsequently, in 2018 a Water Operator’s Partnership under the umbrella of WaterWorX (WWX) started. The impact of the WWX WOP is to contribute positively to SDG6 in Bulawayo. This is done by focusing on improving operational and financial performance, as well as increasing access to and reliability of water supply to all (outcome). The current constraints of Bulawayo in order to reach these outcomes by themselves are adverse economic conditions, high Non-Revenue Water (NRW), low service levels and insufficient water coverage.
Currently the WOP is focusing on the following themes:
- Capacity Development, targeting the strategy and vision unit with 2 employees participating in the young expert programme and one MSc at Unesco-IHE. This will create a working environment with high motivation and ability to set up a shared vision and mission
- Increase of cost coverage ratio, through maintenance program and asset digitization (GIS, asset management software), reduction of NRW (see 3rd bullet) as well as improving the revenues (see 4th bullet and customer database cleaning)
- Reduction of NRW, by developing a NRW assessment and implementing various NRW reduction activities both at DMA and utility level (e.g. valve-project, replacing meters)
- Increase quality of customer services and process improvements by handheld readings and focus on top 100 customers
- Implementing a pro-poor approach by connecting low-income households with water, which includes a careful selection of beneficiaries, network design, sensitization and awareness.
- Indirect contribution to new connections, both through increasing operational and financial performance (bullet 1-5) as well as through future investment studies (water distribution and climate resilience plan) and attracting new financiers for Phase 2 and 3 of WWX