KAMPALA: National Water and Sewerage Cooperation (NWSC) Managing Director Eng. Dr. Silver Mugisha shared the success story of Uganda’s water utility at the global stage —positioning the corporation as the continent’s rollmodel in service delivery.
Dr. Mugisha was among the panelists at the Eastern, Southern Africa Leadership Summit on WASH underway in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa courtesy of the World Bank, and the Ethiopian Government.
The two-day summit brought together ministers of finance and water, development partners, and private sector leaders for in-depth discussions about advancing systems change as a pathway to universal WASH access in Africa.
The discussion where Dr. Mugisha who is president of the President of the African Water Association (AfWA) explained NWSC’s capital investment plan including the post-Covid19 recovery modes—primarily centers around five strategic actions of the systems change approach, addressing sector-level governance bottlenecks, and re-aligning sector-wide incentives.
During the panel discussion, Dr. Miugisha shared his experience in tapping the domestic capital market to better serve the population with improved water services, during the turbulent covid19 pandemic.
According to Dr. Mugisha, NWSC attained the Global Credit Ratings (GCR), a long-term national scale issuer rating of AA (UG), which implies that NWSC has very high creditworthiness and is able to utilize the funds it receives for the specific purpose.
On the pathway forward and creditworthiness of NWSC, the MD discussed the bankability of NWSC and the utility’s collection efficiency which stands at 98% and the Response Rate which he said is at 60%.
Dr Mugisha said that NWSC has experienced tremendous expansions due to a robust strategic plan that has enabled the corporation to expand footprint from 4.5 million to 18.5 million people who are projected to increase to 28 million by 2028.
He said all these have been achieved due to the enabling legislation framework that the Board, Managing Director and the Management have the right competence and strategic intent to drive the corporation in the right direction.
Today, NWSC is among the few government-owned institution running a profitable business after many were privatized.
Dr. Mugisha said that NWSC is now focusing on social equity and environmental protection measures as part of its corporate governance agenda.
The MD explained that NWSC has in place a good track record of performance; agenda setting strategic and tactical action plans, a 3 year corporate plan to drive its service to the people of Uganda.
He also noted that corporation is been critical in accounting to the people of Uganda through service delivery and cited performance accountability instruments in place including performance contract with the Government of Uganda, internal performance contracts, operational and financial indicators, Monitoring and Evaluation.
The number of towns under NWSC jurisdiction has increased from 23 to 268 and are expected to increase to 350 by 2028, Dr. Mugisha said.
He said that a predictable tariff protection instrument has enabled the utility to protect the tariff from external economic shocks as a mitigation gap, for service continuity.
He said the number of customer connections has increased from 296.000 to 874,000 and are expected to increase to 1,250.000 by 2028.
“Pipe network length has increased from 5,073Kms to 22.000Kms and is planned to increase to 32,000Kms by 2028; annual turnover has increased from UGX 155Billion to UGX 519Billion and is projected to increase to UGX 700Billion by 2028,” he said.
In the last 10 years, the assets under the management of NWSC have increased from UGX 650 billion to UGX 4,100 billion.
Last week, Uganda’s deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa commended NWSC for the apt use of USD 150million.
In 2011 and 2019, the Ugandan parliament approved the loan from the French Development Agency (AFD) and other partners to construct the Katosi Water Treatment Plant in Mukono district between 2018 and 2021.
The deputy speaker toured the plant to ascertain first-hand, the performance of the loan. He said he was impressed with the facility and by its standards. He hailed this project as one of the country’s best-performing loans, unlike several others that have had challenges.