• Richard

Freetown 7 - Water Utility Turnaround?

Final visit, unless the extension to ASI’s work is successfully agreed in order to build upon the opportunities for institutional support delivered through the delayed District Metering Area pilots as that implementation gets under way in the New Year.

So continuing the MasterClasses, accounting for water, tariffs and concluding the WaterMan simulation. And realizing that it was 25 years since I had started learning how to do this with the colleagues in Uganda, at the original NWSC Training Centre.


Trying to encourage and enable the introduction of the Performance Incentive Programme, the only mechanism I can see that can enable the Area field staff to move forwards – all of course based upon the NWSC Internal Delegated Area Management Contracts approach.

And working on the revised for 2020 Strategic Performance Improvement Programme, incorporating this time the agreed KPIs and GVWC’s official budget for 2020, the Priority Based Budgeting approach having been agreed in principle but not so much used in practice I suspect.



Pleased to go and visit Congo Dam one Saturday with new colleague Hassane - also to the nearby Chimpanzee sanctuary which included some serious ‘ants in the pants’ moments as well as an alpha chimpanzee throwing stones at us. Writing this, I see that Idris Elba (father from Sierra Leone) is visiting at present and planning to get to see the chimpanzees also. Good that he did it on his first visit rather than me waiting until seventh!



Useful during this visit to be able to have a read of World Bank’s Water Utility Turnaround Framework : A Guide for Improving Performance (Vol. 2) (English). Soppe, Gerhardus Nicolaas Albertus; Janson, Nils M.; Piantini, Scarlett. 2018. Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.


Makes be wonder again about the sequencing of inputs to GVWC – it seems that MCCU’s excellent Results Based Financing component of their support is leveraging institutional change rather more effectively than the many many reports that the Institutional Change programme is required to deliver. Both are needed but RBF should really have been first so that as the company gets used to the idea they then began to see the urgent need for other aspects of change – demand pull rather than supply push as it is known.



Perhaps summing up the efforts of so many people and donors and consultants and GVWC staff themselves – water to Guma House still being delivered by tanker, this in the middle of the CBD and also apparently how many other office blocks in their area get their water. Apparently there are problems, very long lasting problems, with the water distribution network in this part of town.


Meanwhile the Guma House toilets still not flushing. But very pleased to report that the staircase has been painted bright blue, much more welcoming to visitors than the brown brown that had been there so many years. And the painting of Guma Dam and Reservoir in the entrance hall that I have been trying to help reveal? No joy with local artists that I contacted but hearing some of the comments the janitor tried cleaning it with a damp cloth …. Which actually helped and didn’t seem to remove any paint along with the decades of dirt.

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