A three-day capacity building workshop to strengthen institutional capacity for improved service delivery and financial viability in the Bauchi State Water and Sewerage Corporation (BSWSC) commenced on Monday in Bauchi.
The training is organized by Development Innovations Group (DIG) under the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Coordination Project (WCP).
In a keynote address, permanent secretary of the Bauchi State Ministry of Water Resources Hajiya Aisha Musa Chibiyayi, who represented the Commissioner of the ministry, Alhaji Sulaiman Ibrahim Ayuba, urged participants to step down what they have learned at the workshop which will “greatly help you in carrying out your assignments”.
While welcoming participants, Managing Director of BSWSC, Engineer Aminu Aliyu Gital, charged participants to pay attention during the training workshop in order to “enhance your capacity for greater productivity. He also thanked WCP for organizing the training describing it as “timely, considering the changing trends in modern utilities”.
In giving an overview of the project at the opening ceremony of the training workshop series, the Chief of Party (CoP) of the WCP, Mr. Timeyin Uwejamomere, said the WASH Coordination Project (WCP) is a 24-month project financed by USAID that commenced in November 2016. The project is building on work carried out under a previous USAID supported Sustainable Urban Water and Sanitation in Africa (SUWASA) program which focused on improved urban water and sanitation services in Bauchi, Ebonyi and Rivers States.
Uwejamomere also disclosed that the WCP primarily targets urban challenges with the focus in the states of Bauchi and Kaduna, where according to him “government officials have demonstrated a firm commitment to sector improvement, and where WASH service gaps remain acute”.
While congratulating the targeted participants for being part of the capacity building training, the CoP said the objective of the training is among, other things, to sensitize sector stakeholders on the key practices that will ensure the adequacy and consistency of water supply as well as the financial viability of the Water Agency.
The capacity building program, which comes under the WCP Task 3, directed at providing technical assistance to strengthen the Bauchi State Water and Sewerage Corporation, under the on-going reforms by the state government, will provide the opportunity for seven categories of staff with a total of over 200 personnel receiving one training or the other. The training series cover themes on commercial principles, customer care and marketing, engaging civil society, gender-sensitive programming and managing on-site sanitation and wastewater.
The highlight of the training series, which will run for six weeks, is an orientation retreat for the newly established Board of Directors of the Water Corporation, according to Mr. Uwejamomere.
Governor Mohammed A. Abubakar had named a board for the new Bauchi State Water and Sewerage Corporation in November 2017 following WCP’s advocacy. The Board held its inaugural meeting in December.
Uwejamomere said he was optimistic that at the end of the first sets of training this week, and in line with set objectives, participants will be able to understand and explain the role of efficient water treatment processes in improving financial viability; develop and use commercial principles in corporate management; integrate cost consideration in analyzing the interrelatedness of various aspects of utility operations to optimize cost; and also be able to prepare and operate an effective billing cycle to enhance cost recovery.
One of the participants, Hajiya Uwani Dagauda, who spoke to The Politico on her expectations at the end of the training, said she hoped the training will update her knowledge on modern ways of running an efficient utility in line with best practice so that “I can be able to answer questions from customers as it arises”.
Hajiya Dagauda also added that she hopes and expects that the training would touch on the need for teamwork and attitudinal change that can help in moving the corporation forward.
Another participant, Engineer Haruna Mohammed Alfa, commended WCP for organizing the training and said he expected that at the end the “staff of Bauchi State Water and Sewerage Corporation will understand the value of performance as a yardstick for optimal service delivery and also imbibe commercially oriented principles in moving the utility forward”.
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