Water corporation officials return after two weeks training in Japan
A delegation of six officials from the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, and the Urban Water Corporation has returned from Japan and Cambodia, after attending three-week training on water supply management.
The delegation led by the minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Sophi Pal Gai, upon arrival at Juba international airport said they benefited from regulatory frameworks, administrative and financial frameworks on water networks, human resource development, and performance indicators in Japan.
In Cambodia, they learnt the reform history of Phnom Penh Water Authority, and solving the challenges of infrastructural development, reform of networks and establishment of management system. The training is part of the capacity building by Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) in regard to water management.
The minister of Water and Irrigation said there is need for improvement of the water supply to get revenue, through ensuring that every customer who is connected to the water supply system pays for it. “Customers must pay. For those who are already connected, it has to be a rule now to transform the utility through efficient collection of money from the customers,” she said.
She also warns citizens of illegal connections to steal water.
The minister said when a new project by the African Development Bank kicks off, all the connections will be rehabilitated, and anybody that is caught illegally connecting water will be punished.
Yar Paul Kuol, the managing director of the corporation said according to what they have learnt from Japan and Cambodia, the customers pay for water tariffs fully without government subsidy.
“Customers must pay for full cost of producing the water, depreciation and future investment, unless it is allowed by the policy,” he said. Full cost recovery is the way forward in my opinion,” Kuol said.
He said the minister will look at reforming the water corporation, through policies that can support improvement of water supply to the citizens.
Minister Gai said the corporation will do a survey to determine who is connected and paying, so that the amount of water loss is reduced.
She said for water supply improvement, there is need for political will so that policies that help water supply improvement are in place. “We need the political will, and the urban water corporation is willing to reform, other people have made it, we should make it also,” she said.