New assessment revealed major areas of improvement in water and sanitation service provision in Sindh, discussed by urban service providers
Islamabad, 28th Sept, 2016: A new capacity assessment revealed major areas that need improvement in urban water and sanitation service delivery in Sindh – following the increase in demand for municipal services as identified in the Willingness to Pay (WTP) Survey conducted by UN-Habitat earlier this year. In order for the Government of Sindh to harness demand for water and sanitation services, building the capacity of Sindh urban service providers is a key element, therefore UN-Habitat arranged an exposure visit to Water and Sanitation Services, Peshawar (WSSP), which has effectively improved service delivery through initiation of proper mechanisms and social mobilization.
Conducted by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SPDI) and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) with funding from USAID through United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the capacity assessment exercise was discussed at an exposure visit in Peshawar last week. The visit is a part of multiple projects that seek to mobilize communities to improve Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) services in Sindh. It is a collaborative effort between UN-Habitat, UNICEF, North Sindh Urban Services Corporation Limited (NSUSC), Sukkur, the Municipal Services Delivery Program (MSDP), Government of Sindh, Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA), Hyderabad, Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar (WSSP), and USAID.
The capacity assessment identified that service providers in Sindh are facing challenges regarding timely collection of solid waste management, recovery of unpaid bills, maintenance of fixed assets or inventory register, and also need to build capacity to centrally control the supporting departments. The workshop contained technical sessions on addressing the challenges and included visits to operational sites which revealed state-of-the-art methods adopted by WSSP and positive social mobilization for better and improved services to meet the increased demand. The exercise aimed to support the Government of Sindh in taking necessary steps to ensure effective running of MSDP, WASA Hyderabad, and NSUSC and devising necessary actions to improve services in Sindh by learning from Peshawar’s urban service providers.
According to the press statement by Khanzeb, Chief Executive Officer – Water and Sanitation Services, Peshawar, “Successful municipal service delivery is a challenge for local government institutions. In many parts of the country, existing facilities for water supply, solid waste management, and sanitation are ineffective and require immediate corrective measures. WSSP is continuously improving its services and through this workshop, we aim to facilitate learning of other urban service providers and extend our support to UN-Habitat, UNICEF, and USAID to improve municipal service delivery in Sindh.”
He further added: “Equipped with the necessary knowledge and expertise, Pakistan will be a step closer to eradicating the concerns of the masses by setting up an effective and modern WASH services structure.”
Irfan S. Alrai – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Specialist stated: “UNICEF is in the process of increasing its efforts to address urban WASH issues, taking into account the needs of urban service providers as well as their comparative advantages to tackle specific urban WASH challenges. UNICEF with the support of UN-Habitat and other partners is supporting the community mobilization component of the MSDP. Building the capacity of local authorities and service providers, with the objective of making them perform better, both with the aim to improve services for the urban dwellers in the City of Jacobabad but also at the scale of the city to improve overall sustainability and reliability is an important objective of the programme. The national exposure visit to WSSP is an important cross-learning event which will generate knowledge and evidence on pro poor service delivery approaches being implemented by WSSP and will help Sindh based service providers like NSUSC, MSDP and WASA Hyderabad to learn from good practices and replicate them in their respective jurisdictions”
Syed Mohsin Nazar, Director – Finance, WASA Hyderabad said: “This type of exposure visit will be help full for all water utilities to exchange and learn more for preparing sustainable policies for future.”
Mian Muhammad Junaid, Basic Services Manager – UN-Habitat remarked: “Successful public service delivery systems require sustainable and efficient management of WASH services, along with responsible social mobilization and behavioral change communication with the public. We hope that this capacity building exercise will help the urban service providers of Sindh improve service delivery and harness demand for water and sanitation services. UN-Habitat is thankful to WSSP for their continued support for the betterment of WASH services in Pakistan.”
The three-day exposure visit was conducted from September 21-23, 2016. The capacity assessment was instrumental in identifying areas of improvement and allowed urban service provides to evaluate the on-ground scenario of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) services in Peshawar.
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