On November 30, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the granting of its contribution to the second phase of WaterWorX. WaterWorX is an international Water Operators’ Partnership Program between all 10 Dutch water utilities and 39 water utilities in 15 countries.
In line with the WASH strategy ‘Contributing to water, sanitation and hygiene for all, forever’, the Dutch water utilities and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs engaged into a long-term public private collaboration in 2017. The program, named WaterWorX, has the overall goal to contribute to improved water and sanitation services in selected cities in Africa and Asia. It has a long-term perspective and aims to provide either first-time basic access or improved service levels for 10 million people by 2030.
In Phase 1 (2017-2021), the Dutch utilities established a solid foundation of trusted Water Operators Partnerships (WOPs) with 39 water utilities in Africa and Asia. During these first years, the WOPs focused on staff and organizational capacity development in among others leadership, revenue generation, low-income customer services provision and long-term water supply security. In addition, investments were made into network extensions and toilets, impacting 1.45 million people with first or improved access to water and/or sanitation. WaterWorX also worked on the development of an infrastructure investment pipeline and supported enabling environment activities in three countries.
Phase 2 (2022-2026) will build on the partnerships, lessons learned and results of Phase 1 and seeks to further strengthen the performance of the partner utilities and accelerate on SDG6 impacts with the objective of reaching an additional 3.5 million people towards the 10 million target. Further intensification of knowledge management will enable current local utility partners to share their gained knowledge and experience with colleague utilities in their country and region. Phase 2 will also have a stronger emphasis on the DGIS focus regions which has resulted in adding several new partner utilities and the phasing out others.
Toine Ramaker, CEO of pen lead VEI and director of the program, “With WaterWorX, the Dutch utilities do not only aim to make a significant contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 6 in a context of urbanization and climate change, but also create a global movement of knowledge exchange among utilities through Water Operators Partnerships”.