A fund of the Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC) has agreed to lend support to nine African water operators.
The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) will lend the support under UN-Habitat’s Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance. Consequently, UN-Habitat Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos has written to OFID Director General Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish committing to see that the venture became successful.
“I really appreciate the confidence you place in my organization, and I can assure you that we will do our utmost to make sure this project achieves its objectives,” he said.
The Alliance presented the "Technical Assistance for Nine African Water Operators through Enhanced South-South Partnerships" project to OFID in Vienna in mid-2012. The countries set to benefit are Benin, Ghana, Togo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Namibia and Zambia. In each of these countries, a water operator will benefit of a one year capacity building project, through Water Operators’ Partnerships or WOPs. Priority themes for capacity building have been identified, notably Non-Revenue-Water, Sanitation and Water Access to the Urban Poor. The total funding is 1 Million USD.
Under the project, the nine African water operators are expected to increase their performance in terms of billing and collection efficiency, leakages, meter reading etc. They will develop Performance Improvement Plans in priority areas in collaboration with mentors from the South; African operators known for their good performance.
In his letter to Mr. Al-Jerbish, Dr Clos expressed optimism of even greater collaboration between UN-Habitat and OPEC.
“I also hope that this project will pave the way to further strengthen our collaboration in sustainable urban development issues in general, and I would be keen to inform you in due course of our activities in these fields,” Dr. Clos added.