EU-Funded Solidarity-Based Partnership Between GWCL And GVWC Kicks-off In Sierra Leone (PICS)
A solidarity-based Water Operators’ Partnership (WOP) between Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC) and VEI has started its peer-to-peer learning journey back in 2018 to support the development of GVWC operational activities in Sierra Leone.
Encouraged by the successful learning and twinning partnership, the three partners have decided to submit a funding proposal for the EU-WOP Programme.
It is emerging that GWCL, GVWC and VEI will continue their capacity development arrangement for three more years.
In April 2021, the programme received 142 applications.
However, after a two-stage selection process, the GWCL-GVWC-VEI WOP was among the 22 projects selected.
The EU-WOP Programme will allocate $250,000 grant, funding the GWCL, GVWC and VEI partnership aimed at making the unserved visible, serving them in a sustainable way by strengthening the GVWC’s organization accordingly.
The project is one of the very few approved funding applications with an African lead partner and offers an excellent opportunity to build upon the prevailing twinning arrangement between GWCL and GVWC and further strengthen it with the support of VEI.
The GWCL Low Income Customer Support Department (LICSD) will take the lead in supporting GVWC’s ambition to better serve vulnerable populations over a 36 months’ duration.
By supporting the development of the GVWC pro-poor activities and elevating its position as an organisation, the project will contribute greatly to the desired transformation of GVWC towards better service delivery.
Together with the assistance of VEI the aim is to make the unserved visible and build the capacity to engage and transform the unserved to be served in a sustainable way.
It is emerging that the partnership aims to contribute towards the SDG 6 targets by embracing the “leave no one behind” principle.
On 23rd March 2022, an agreement was signed during a special signing ceremony at the World Water Forum in Dakar.
It is emerging that Sierra Leone’s Minister for Water Resources and Ghana’s Chief Director at the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, GWCL & GVWC Managing Directors, and other interested stakeholders representing the different parties were present at the event.
In July 2022, GWCL undertook a maiden visit to Sierra Leone’s GVWC to kick-start the partnership.
The visit commenced with an address from the dynamic and high-spirited female Board Chair of GVWC, Bintu Myers who pledged the Board’s strategic support to deliver on the program’s objectives.
GWCL’s MD, Ing. Dr. Clifford A. Braimah, stimulated the Board Chair's message by highlighting the importance of top management buy-in for the establishment of a dedicated department advocating for the unserved communities and households.
He shared examples of goodwill and funding GWCL has received from the development partners, consumers and other sector stakeholders as a result of having elevated the GWCL Low-Income Customer Support unit into a full-blown department (LICSD).
The Chief Manager LICSD, Faustina Boachie, shared her views on the evolution she made from occupying a single person pro-poor service desk to managing a full-blown department with a track record in fundraising, community engagement, and improving water service delivery in LIUCs (including community engagement, revenue collection initiatives and setting up Water User Associations).
Being the lead partner, GWCL took advantage of the visit to gain a better understanding of the local challenges in supplying water to the vulnerable communities of Sierra Leone and that commenced the transfer of knowledge and expertise. VEI also supported the process.
LICSD Officer, Nancy Godson shared her experience on GWCL’s community engagement approaches.
LICSD Officer, Obed Frempong and VEI Project Manager, Krijn Driessen also provided a hands-on workshop on the utilization of drones.
The workshop garnered considerable attention and a DJI Mavic Air 2 drone was handed over for GVWC to enhance GVWC’s drone skills before the next encounter between the partners, which is scheduled to take place in September 2022 in Ghana.
With the slogan “I WOP, WE WOP, EU WOP” the partners expressed their satisfaction with the first EU WOP Program visit and therefore committed their utmost support to build capacity to make the unserved visible and to engage to transform the unserved to be served in a sustainable way.
“This Water Operators’ Partnership project is funded by the European Union and UN-Habitat”
The EU-WOP Programme is an initiative funded by the European Union and managed by UN-Habitat’s Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA) that is funding over 20 Water Operators’ Partnerships (WOPs) projects.
These partnerships are solidarity-based, not-for-profit and peer-to-peer exchanges between water and sanitation operators, that aim at strengthening the capacity and performance of utilities, with the ultimate goal of contributing to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 6, clean water and sanitation for all.
Story by: Thinknewsonline.com News Desk