World Water Day is an annual United Nations Observance focusing on the importance of freshwater. It is coordinated by UN-Water and led by one or more UN-Water Members and Partners with a related mandate. World Water Day celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. It is […]
Nairobi – Over 100 virtual participants attended the inaugural webinar hosted by 2030 WRG together with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) on Friday, 26th February. The series of three webinars aims to highlight business opportunities for private companies in the Kenyan water sector, bringing together public and private sector actors to deliberate on the opportunities that exist as well as develop strategies to take to scale proven innovations.
The first webinar focused on opportunities within the water supply and sanitation sub-sector and explored private-public-partnerships (PPPs) as a mechanism to help strengthen the resilience of urban water supply services.
Under Sustainable Development Goal 6, Kenya has committed itself to achieve by 2030 universal and equitable access to safe and affordable water and sanitation for all. For a country classified as a middle-income economy, Kenya’s performance on water and sanitation indicators is weaker than expected, and the situation is worsening as the population increases. Despite some progress over the last decade only 59% of Kenyans have access to basic water services and only 29% have access to sanitary services.
The country’s water utilities, meanwhile, are increasingly facing a multiplicity of challenges including high energy costs, low revenue streams, high volumes of network water losses attributed to ageing water infrastructure, inefficient billing systems, illegal connections and a sub-optimal asset management regime. These pre-existing systemic constraints have been compounded further by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic’s impact on urban utility services has served to highlight the underlying weak resilience and weak adaptive capacity of the utilities. Beyond the pandemic, significant recovery efforts will be needed to build back more resilient water utilities while expanding access to water and sanitation services.
The virtual event provided participants with an overview of the opportunity landscape in WSS, and explored finance and technology opportunities for PPPs in water and sanitation services; presented the policy, legal and regulatory framework for private sector investment in water and sanitation service provision, and identified existing bottlenecks to increasing private sector participation in the provision of water and sanitation services.
The next webinars in the series will focus on expanding farmer-led irrigation and wastewater and circular economy, respectively.
If you would like to attend either of these virtual events, please sign up to the Kenya partnership mailing list to receive an invitation.
Webinar #2: Expanding Farmer-Led Irrigation in Kenya
A discussion on how best to scale farmer-led irrigation development (FLID)
Session A: 10:30am – 1:00 pm EAT, Friday 12 March
Webinar #3: Wastewater and circular economy
Leveraging public-private-partnerships to mainstream a circular economy approach in wastewater management in Kenya
10:30am – 12:00 pm EAT, Friday 26 March
Participation is free of charge.
 WHO, UNICEF, 2019, WASH Joint Monitoring Programme Report.
WASHINGTON, March 2, 2021 – The Government of Hungary and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, formally kicked off the next phase of their partnership today, agreeing to work together on IFC’s creating markets strategy and on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The expanded partnership builds on Hungary’s initial investment in 2014 which provided $20 million of contributions to agribusiness, energy, health, and water management sectors in middle-income countries, benefitting 33 million people.
This next phase of the partnership is providing an additional $10 million for IFC’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, its upstream advisory work to unlock more bankable projects that lead to private sector investments, and to the mission of the 2030 Water Resources Group, hosted by the World Bank.
“This partnership is very important for Hungary, which aims to support advisory programs and create new market opportunities to further increase the visibility of Hungarian support for private sector development among relevant stakeholders. The IFC Trust Fund will have a stronger focus of advisory activities on thematic areas in the selected countries as well as focusing on green growth including water and climate-smart solutions, SME finance and information and communications technology,” said Gábor Gion, Minister of State of the Hungarian Ministry of Finance.
“Expanding the Hungary-IFC partnership is a celebration on two fronts: it’s an opportunity to take stock of all that has been accomplished and an opportunity to imagine what more we can do together,” said Karin Finkelston, Vice President of Partnerships, Communication, and Outreach at IFC. “IFC’s partnership with Hungary has changed lives for the better by unlocking opportunities for small businesses, addressing climate change, and improving water management.”
The expansion and extension of the Hungary-IFC partnership comes at a critical time for development, as the world enters the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic and private sector investment in emerging markets is necessary to revive economies.
“Through this collaboration we look forward to deepening our engagement with countries to amplify impact, and combine our strengths in incubation of new solutions and private sector mobilization with financing strengths and technical know-how to achieve a Water-Secure World for All,” said Juergen Voegele, Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank.
To date, the Hungary-IFC partnership has disbursed 49,567 small and medium enterprise (SME) loans and 8,399 sustainable energy finance (SEF) loans. These represent a value of $408 million in SME loans and $80 billion in SEF loans. Geographically, the Hungary-IFC partnership covers 31 countries with the largest funds allocated to East Asia (32%), Eastern Europe (29%), and Africa (15%).
Trevor Harris Kincaid
December 2020 – Our team in Brazil launched the 2030 WRG São Paulo Steering Committee, which is chaired by the State Secretary of Infrastructure and Environment and is comprised of more than 15 representatives from the public and private sectors as well as civil society and academia.
The Steering Committee has been launched as a space for dialogue and collaboration to promote and scale-up efforts around water and sanitation, with a special focus on the circular economy in São Paulo. Participants exchanged ideas around these topics, learned about 2030 WRG’s current initiatives, and discussed potential areas of collaborative action. To learn more about our work in São Paulo, click here.
Aims to treat domestic sewage that will benefit nearly 230,000 households
2 DECEMBER 2020 – Gazipur City Corporation is set to receive a wastewater and sludge treatment system in two of its urban zones under the public private partnership model (PPP), aiming to treat domestic sewage that will benefit nearly 230,000 households.
With an estimated cost of $82 million, the pilot project will include a sewerage network of nearly 137 kilometers, two sewage treatment plants of about 56 million liters per day cumulative capacity, mechanical desludging of septic tanks, and transportation of fecal sludge to three treatment plants.
The move follows the signing of an agreement between IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Public-Private Partnership Authority to provide transaction advisory services to help set up a wastewater management system in Gazipur and Tongi areas of GCC, said a press release.
The project was the result of a three-year effort by the Bangladesh Water Multi Stakeholder Partnership, facilitated by the 2030 Water Resources Group, a public-private-civil society multi-donor trust fund hosted by the World Bank Group.
Sultana Afroz, CEO of Bangladesh Public-Private Partnership Authority, said that the initiative was a big step towards meeting the government’s goal of improving environmental and wastewater treatment standards in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
“The economic fallout from the impact of COVID-19 makes mobilizing funds and expertise from the private sector more important than ever,” said Wendy Werner, IFC country manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
Last year, IFC assisted the government to develop a water distribution network and supply facilities with a capacity to produce 340 million litres of potable water per day for the estimated 1.5 million residents of Purbachal.
Gazipur, which is a major hub for manufacturing of readymade garments, the country’s main export item, has seen rapid urbanization over the past two decades.
At present, the city of over two million people does not have a wastewater treatment plant or a centralized sewerage network.
Nearly 70 per cent of the 230,000 households in Gazipur and Tongi areas rely on a decentralized system, which is typically a conventional septic tank and pit latrines, while the wastewater generated by the remaining 30 per cent is discharged directly into open drains or water bodies.
IFC’s advice in public-private partnerships is helping national and municipal governments in developing countries partner with the private sector to offer tangible benefits to millions of people by improving access to education, energy, transport, healthcare, and sanitation.
IFC has advised on the structuring of nine PPPs in the water sector, including supply and treatment, and is currently working on three projects worldwide.
The COVID-19 crisis has affected all walks of life, in particular the agriculture sector. Farmers have been the worst hit, with issues ranging from the collapse of logistics and labor interruptions leading to severe disruptions to the supply chain; post-harvest management problems; and cash crunches, among other challenges.
The pandemic poses an even greater risk in the context of Uttar Pradesh (UP) as regions like Bundelkhand are already considered to be one of India’s infamous hotspots for frequent droughts and other related miseries. Given the lockdown scenario, the threat of loss of livelihood and resulting economic insecurity has forced migrants in the State to return to their villages from urban centers. Unskilled and semi-skilled migrant laborers remain the most vulnerable to and economically impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. The Hon. Chief Minister of UP also flagged these issues particularly with regard to reverse migration and the urgent need to provide livelihoods to all migrants in the State.
In this context and supplementing the Government of UP’s proactive measures to address the most pressing challenge of providing livelihoods and economic security to the last mile, the 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) designed two initiatives in consultation with members of its UP Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP). These include:
- The Participatory Rural Agricultural Advancement through Increased Incomes (PRAGATI) Project was conceptualized by 2030 WRG and is focused on building resilient blocks across UP, one gram panchayat (GP) at a time. The project aims to provide livelihoods and achieve water, agricultural, and economic security for all farmers in the project area.
- 2030 WRG has also partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), who in collaboration with the Government of UP has set up the UP COVID-19 Economic Recovery Alliance (UP CERA). The key objective of UP CERA is to create a platform for facilitating collaboration among key development partners on the COVID-19 response for livelihoods and economic recovery.
Both initiatives, apart from being geared toward facilitating economic recovery and resilience, are focused on leveraging all available government schemes and benefits for this purpose. The idea is to call for an integrated approach that builds on indigenous infrastructure and institutional capacity strengthening for expanding water and livelihood opportunities for all those who have been the hardest hit by the pandemic.
Acknowledging that concerted action is required to tackle the current economic and agricultural crises, the PRAGATI Project aims to build on existing initiatives, infrastructure, and affordable technology with the Government of UP in the lead and with the active participation of the private sector and civil society in the spirit of multi-stakeholder partnerships. As part of 2030 WRG’s UP MSP, Project PRAGATI integrates multi-stakeholder efforts from the Government of UP, including the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) cell, Department of Rural Development (DoRD) and other relevant departments, GIZ through its Water Security and Climate Adaptation in Rural India (WASCA) program, Dalmia Bharat Foundation through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) measures, Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sansthan, other civil society organizations (CSOs), and relevant private sector solutions.
The design of the PRAGATI Project is such that it looks at all components of integrated water resources management, therefore making it relevant and easily replicable in any district/GP in the region. As a result, in a very short period of time, the project has been replicated from the Bundelkhand region in the Gondlamau Development Block, Sitapur District and in the Babina Development Block, Jhansi.
A key component of the PRAGATI Project has been the integration of the local administration into the project design. The contours of the project in both the Gondlamau and the Babina Development Blocks are to achieve water, agricultural, and economic security for all farmers in the project area through a multi-stakeholder design as elaborated above. 2030 WRG is also in conversation with other corporates and foundations that see potential in the project design and are keen on replicating it in other districts.
The following priority areas have been identified under the PRAGATI Project:
- Leveraging and concentrating all government schemes and benefits;
- Adopting a multi-stakeholder design to include all relevant players;
- Micro-level water management based on due analysis conducted;
- Development of water budgets / water security plans at the GP level;
- GIS-based watershed mapping and analysis;
- Community-led participatory management of water resources at the GP level; and
- Fostering gender empowerment through women-led self-help groups (SHGs).
To complement this initiative further and as outlined above, 2030 WRG has also partnered with UNDP on the UP CERA initiative. Designed to drive economic recovery, this alliance furthers the development and dissemination of solutions for economic resilience through regular dialogue with the Government of UP. The alliance also strengthens the State’s response to the disruption of rural and urban livelihoods due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown.
As Co-Coordinator of UP CERA, 2030 WRG through its UP MSP regularly shares its learnings on collective action under the leadership of the Government of UP and in active partnership with the private sector and civil society to address water- and agriculture-related challenges in UP. This is also in line with 2030 WRG’s mandate from the Government of UP to support the State in addressing water-related issues through multi-stakeholder integration.
For updates from other UP CERA partners as well as cumulative data on their collective response to COVID-19, please refer to UP CERA Newsletter Volume 5 (September 2020).
Senior leaders from the Tanzanian water sector convened at the Julius Nyerere International Conference Centre in Dar es Salaam on 3rd December 2020 for the 4th National Multi-Sector Forum on Water Resources to explore strategies for strengthening collaboration among stakeholders in Tanzania’s water sector. The theme for this year’s event, which also accommodated virtual participation, was “accelerating realization of water security for all through enhanced multi-sectoral dialogues.”
The forum, which was hosted by the Ministry of Water in collaboration with the 2030 Water Resources Group, Global Affairs Canada, and Shahidi wa Maji, aimed to enhance cross-sectoral coordination as envisioned in the country’s Integrated Water Resources Management Development (IWRMD) Plans by breaking down institutional silos and catalyzing the exchange of knowledge, expertise, technologies and financial resources required to improve the country’s future water security.
“[T]he forum is a platform for candidly discussing different issues related to water resources management and development in this country and providing solutions or recommendations as well. In this way, we all collectively contribute to making decisions on this important resource as envisioned in the National Water Policy of 2002.” said the Permanent Secretary for Water, Eng. Anthony Sanga, during his opening address.
Tanzania is endowed with relatively abundant freshwater resources, but these are unevenly distributed and increasingly at risk. Water demand in the key economic sectors of agriculture, energy and manufacturing is rising sharply alongside rising requirements from population growth for supplying domestic consumption, improving the conditions of the poor and for the environment.
The need to work collaboratively is therefore more urgent than ever. Climate change is likely to have severe consequences for Tanzania through increased temperatures, changes in rainfall, increasingly frequent extreme weather events and rising sea levels.
The aim of the one-day event was to enhance collaboration, build synergies amongst actors and highlight collective action in water resources management. The overall objective was to bring together diverse actors in the water sector to discuss and deliberate on effective ways to achieve sustainable water resources management and enhance key sectors and other stakeholders’ participation for improved water security for all.
“Together in this unique group we have and still can accomplish so much as opposed to a situation where there would have been only one sector” said the Forum Chairperson, Eng. Mbogo Futakamba. “This has always been my motto, ‘if you want to reach far, move together – but if you want to move faster, move alone’”
Earlier this year, recognizing the value of collaboration to achieving the country’s water security goals, the Ministry of Water facilitated the enactment of legislation to roll out the multi-sectoral forum on water resources to the basin level, with some basins cascading the concept down to catchment level. The forum enabled a deeper understanding of how these initiatives are impacting other sectors and will allow for the sharing of best practices and innovation.
The event also focused on the contributions of the private sector towards water stewardship and strengthened water security. The private sector has tremendous capacity to incentivize stakeholders across other sectors by setting precedence, especially in terms of technological innovation. The forums provided a platform for private companies to highlight their contributions in the larger spectrum of addressing water security in Tanzania with the view to exchange knowledge and best practices within the context of building a strong private sector dialogue on water stewardship.
The forum also highlighted ongoing as well as potential contributions of the media towards supporting desired changes in society for achieving water security for all through educating the masses and raising awareness.
The forum, now officially in its fourth year, brings together senior leaders from government, business, research institutions, and civil society, to strengthen inter-sectoral collaboration, inform decision making at the national and basin levels, and help shape an improved institutional framework for decision making.
The 2030 WRG Governing Council met virtually at the end of November 2020. The meeting was an important milestone in setting the path for 2030 WRG scale-up. Building on the guidance to 2030 WRG from the Steering Board over the past year, the Council centered on the strategic directions of 2030 WRG in more fully engaging partners, leveraging the World Bank Group, and elevating and raising the visibility of 2030 WRG to be the vehicle of choice in collective action on improving water management across sectors.
GC members expressed support for 2030 WRG to expand to new countries and states while innovating on models to generate financial sustainability at different levels. Building on the GC meeting of September 2019, the GC supported the development of the City-based MSP model as part of deepening engagement in countries. The GC also supported the development of “program accelerators” in countries with more mature MSPs as a key strategic pillar of the scale-up strategy of 2030 WRG. Global private sector partners expressed interest and offered their support to engage with the 2030 WRG Secretariat in shaping, conceptualizing, and actively being part of the accelerator programs.
2030 WRG will also increase links with the climate and nature agendas to further explore circular economy and nature-based solutions as part of a larger effort to look at water security and resilience planning and adding more shades of blue to sustainable financing.
The 6th Annual Water Stewardship Event convened online today and provided examples of how strengthening water sector governance and stewardship practices can provide a pathway for a green and inclusive recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. The pandemic has caused the country’s real Gross Domestic Product to contract by 17 percent in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same time last year and exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities in the water sector. Over 200 water sector representatives including officials from government, industry, finance, civil society and development organisations were in attendance for the virtual event jointly hosted by the National Business Initiative (NBI), the Strategic Water Partners Network (SWPN), the Royal Danish Embassy and supported by GIZ’s Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS).
According to the World Health Organisation, washing hands with soap and water is the single most effective measure against the spread of COVID-19, putting equitable access to water and sanitation at the center of the pandemic response. The National Water and Sanitation Master Plan indicates that only 65 percent of South Africans have access to safe and reliable water services while 14.1 million people lack access to decent sanitation. Moreover, the South African water sector struggles with financial challenges and capacity restrictions, constraining its ability to bridge the service delivery gap, a situation exacerbated by the impacts of the pandemic. These challenges are aggravated by a lack of accountability linked to the governance, management, and oversight of the sector itself. With water as a key enabler of economic growth, there is an opportunity to leverage green and sustainable investments in the sector to support South Africa’s efforts to build back better.
In the opening session, Trevor Balzer, Acting Director General of the Department of Water and Sanitation, appealed to the water sector to “embrace the power of partnerships between private, public and civil society to work together to close the water gap through taking a water stewardship approach.” Mr. Balzer urged local and international investors to “come and invest in our water infrastructure which remains one of the most meaningful ways to create jobs, enable economic growth, reduce inequalities and support small, medium, and micro-enterprises.”
In a series of keynote speeches, panel discussions, and interactive Q&A divided over two thematic sessions, participants explored what needs to be done to strengthen water sector governance and encourage the much-needed water investments required to support a post-COVID-19 green recovery.
Morning Session: Robust Governance for Sustainable Recovery
The overarching message of the morning session was that strengthening water sector governance is a prerequisite to improve performance and bring about a much-needed recovery in the sector.
“Strong systems and institutions are needed to drive effective water resources management and expanding access to water and sanitation services” says Martin Ginster, Co-Chair of the SWPN. “As we look towards the future, good water governance will be needed to ensure an adequate supply of water at an acceptable quality to prevent and fight future pandemics.”
For the public sector, this involves improving financial management and technical capacity at both national and municipal levels. Strengthening good governance requires a clear understanding of powers and functions, mandated responsibility and the inter-dependency between resource protection, usage, planning and development across all spheres of government. This understanding must be met with clear institutional arrangements that can further advance good sector governance.
In the private sector, while there is a strong focus on corporate accountability in terms of sustainability, there is a need to strengthen corporate leadership on water security specifically.
Throughout the morning, speakers emphasized the importance of greater participation and diversity of voices in decision-making as a means of strengthening transparency and accountability. Community-led good governance practice, whereby communities are equipped and informed on how to both engage with government and private sector stakeholders, as well as hold them to account for specific actions linked to water conservation and demand management, offers a proven avenue for strengthening accountability and transparency in decision-making. Examples of such action include participatory planning and budgeting processes, deepening understanding of procurement systems and participating in planning of projects that require a balanced understanding of economic development opportunity and natural resource protection measures.
Afternoon Session: Water Investments for a Post-COVID-19 Green Recovery
The focus of the afternoon session explored the opportunities afforded by green financing. The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call over the reality of environmental risks with human-related causes. As governments all over the world, including South Africa, make significant investments into emergency support programs, there is a need to ensure recovery packages honor the balance between jump-starting economic growth and restoring jobs as well as protecting natural capital.
The session was opened by HE Mr. Tobias Elling Rehfeld, the Danish Ambassador to South Africa. In his address, he urged the sector to rapidly scale-up investments in order to achieve the country’s water and sanitation delivery goals. Such investments can also be an important lever of economic recovery. “Water infrastructure investments in particular are crucial to stimulate growth and job creation” he said, pointing to the sector’s funding deficit of approximately R300 billion over the next ten years. “South Africa needs all hands-on deck, and Denmark is ready to step up our support in terms of partnership programmes, water sector technology and finance.”
Opportunities for sustainable investing in the water sector include reducing water losses, repairing and maintaining water infrastructure and enabling nature-based solutions to achieve water security and improved water resource management.
“Investments in water should be used to build greater resilience and more effective management of water-related risks. At the same time, we need to reinforce water governance to ensure the reliable delivery of water for priority uses” says Alex McNamara, Water and Climate Manager with NBI, who provided an overview of key takeaways in the closing session. “COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of access to safe and reliable water, and we have a responsibility to learn from our experience over the last year to build back greener, stronger, and better.”