Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for management of water utilities
NCA Somalia facilitated a public private partnership (PPP) for water services in four towns reaching over 118,000 people.
Somalia has begun the transition towards a federal state despite the presence of non-state actors in some locations. NCA has provided WASH services for several years despite political unrest, insecurity, and repetitive cyclic droughts caused by climate change, all of which have caused many people to migrate within their country and settle close to urban areas. Management of water provision is a challenge particularly in towns and settlements. Putting in place mechanisms to enhance access to services and ensure sustainability of WASH infrastructure is a critical part of NCA and its partners’ efforts.
Access to safe water in semi-arid areas is based on groundwater accessible by shallow wells and boreholes. In areas with high population numbers and where water provision was not regulated by the state, it was possible for cartels to profit on water supply. In settlements where Internally Displaced People (IDPs) stayed with host communities, the management of water provision for a large population needed to be organised in an innovative way. For NCA it was an exit strategy from being responsible for providing water services to handing responsibility over to a localised and accepted entity that would ensure the sustainability of water services.
NCA and its partners worked to strengthen the capacity of various water companies in Gedo and Nugaal regions, focusing on project sustainability, financial management and better operation and maintenance of water schemes. NCA also linked community water committees, including from IDP camps, to regional water utilities for joint coordination and sustainable management of WASH facilities. In addition, NCA and its partners participated in construction related to water schemes, such as constructing water tanks, pipes, etc. This resulted in increased household connections and an improved revenue for the water companies, along with faster maintenance and repair of breakages. In some locations NCA laid distribution pipelines to communal water points and primary schools, allowing for easy access for poorer neighbourhoods. Adoption of innovative technologies led to enhanced service delivery and sustainability, along with financial autonomy and independence of the water companies. They were able to expand services, increase revenue collection, reduce volumes of unaccounted for water, improve efficiency and decrease breakdowns within the water supply system.
NCA’s focus throughout the implementation was on efforts made towards relationship building with companies, state authorities, the relevant line ministry in project locations and the targeted communities. NCA was able to strengthen the capacities of partners, local authorities, line ministry officials, parliamentarians and communities to improve WASH service delivery. Assessments and evaluations not only informed planning processes, but showed that the programme supported coordination efforts through capacity strengthening of WASH cluster partners in Somalia. However, a clear commitment of the local district and state authorities and target communities is necessary. A firm legal and institutional framework needs to be put in place, while, at the same time, avoiding overregulating.