Water and wastewater management programme
Title: Water and wastewater management programme
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities (MoHUUC)
Overall term: 2015 to 2019
Under Egypt’s water sector reform, responsibility for providing water services has been transferred from the governorates to new utilities for water supply and wastewater management. These utilities have been brought together under a national umbrella organisation, the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW). This move towards commercialisation aims to significantly improve the situation in the relevant sector.
The political shift in the country coupled with frequent shuffling of the responsible decision-makers have slowed efforts to implement the water sector reform. Nevertheless, public municipal water management services have been largely maintained and in some areas have even improved during this period. The population’s level of satisfaction with public services has gained enormously in importance. The Government is thus trying to bring about permanent improvements to services and to raise the operational and economic efficiency of the drinking water and sanitation utilities. Even though overall an improvement in plant operation can be observed, the utilities are not yet in a position to provide their services in an economically viable manner and in accordance with national standards.
Better conditions are in place for the provision of cost-effective and sustainable drinking water supply and sanitation services.
The programme supports Egypt’s efforts to reform the water sector in three areas: sector planning and regulation, operational efficiency at regional water and wastewater utilities and better service provision in informal urban settlements and under-served rural areas.
The programme assists with the development of evidence-based planning instruments. This ensures that investments in the drinking water and wastewater sector are made in an efficient and results-oriented manner. Atkins International Limited is providing the programme with technical advice. At the same time, the national regulatory authority receives support in defining its mandate in legal terms and in developing and using regulatory instruments.
Activities at the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW) centre on developing capacities, both among the staff and at institutional level. Through the nationwide dissemination of good technical and commercial practices, the programme sets out to help utilities to enhance their operational efficiency.
In order to address shortcomings in the provision of water sector services, the programme encourages civil society participation in planning and development activities and the involvement of the private sector in informal, urban and disadvantaged rural areas.
The programme is enhancing the performance capacity of institutions in the water sector through the introduction of efficient working procedures and quality management processes that bring about lasting improvements in services. By helping to improve water supply and wastewater management, the programme is contributing towards socio-political stability in Egypt.
The improved access to adequate drinking water supply and sanitation services has many positive impacts that will serve to stabilise social and economic conditions within the country in the long term. The programme measures are reducing diseases caused by unsafe water and poor hygiene. This, and the fact that people no longer have to rely on their own efforts to meet their water supply and sanitation needs, mean that they have more time to pursue economic activities and that young people can attend school regularly, particularly in rural areas. The programme thereby makes a contribution to poverty reduction.