Support to the water sector reform

Programme description

Title: Support for water sector reform
Commissioning party: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lead executing agency: Ministère de l’Energie et des Ressources Hydrauliques (Ministry of Energy and Water Resources)
Overall term: 2016 to 2018

Yellow water canister with a running tap at a public standpipe. © GIZ

Context

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the world’s bottom three countries in terms of its population’s access to drinking water supply and sanitation: only half of people have access to drinking water and less than one-third have basic sanitation facilities. This situation is compounded by strong population growth and the fact that more and more people are migrating to towns and cities. The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has adopted a new water law, which makes provincial governments now responsible for water supply. However, they are not yet able to deal with this task. The main urban drinking water supplier is not working to improve the situation. Moreover, there is a lack of well-trained managers and skilled professionals in the water and sanitation sector who can perform management and technical tasks.

Objective

The capacities of key Congolese actors involved in drinking water supply and (basic) sanitation have improved.

Approach

The project supports government representatives at national and provincial level in further developing the water and wastewater sector. For instance, the partners are developing an implementation strategy for the new drinking water policy and a strategy to develop the water and sanitation sector for the province of Kasaï-Oriental.

In the regions of Bandundu, Equateur and Kasaï-Central, the project works mainly with urban drinking water providers. It trains and advises workers on technical and organisational issues relating to a more effi-cient operating structure and better operational management. The population can thus have consistent access to clean drinking water at a fair price. Moreover, campaigns on the value of clean drinking water and hygiene are to raise awareness among the population and prevent diseases. Awareness-raising work is performed by the consulting firm management4health GmbH in conjunction with WASH United plus Ltd.

Results

The country adopted the Water Law at the end of 2015 and a national drinking water policy in mid-2016 with support from the predecessor project. Two key pillars of the reform are thus in place and the responsibilities and roles of all stakeholders have been defined.

Women going home with filled water canisters and buckets. © GIZ

Since the start of project activities, a water coordination platform has been established in the province of Kasaï-Oriental. This platform brings all stakeholders, including representatives from civil society, together to resolve drinking water supply and sanitation problems jointly.