Our Five Year Strategic Direction, 2013-2018 was reviewed to 2016-2021. This was to take stock of the government's changing priorities to deliver Uganda to the middle income status by 2020. The NWSC Strategic Direction takes into account the strategic and overarching Government Policy of transforming Uganda from a peasantry to a modern and prosperous economy as enshrined in the National Development Plan (NDPII), NRM manifesto (2016-2021) as well as Vision 2040. The implementation of the strategic direction was guided by the four (4) strategic priority areas of the balanced scorecard:

  • SMART Systems, Business continuity and Infrastructure Growth
  • Financial Growth and Sustainability
  • Customer and Stakeholder Delight
  • Productivity and capacity development

Each of the strategic priority areas is buttressed by strategic focus areas which are further defined by key undertakings and milestones. The implementation of the respective undertakings and deliverables was carried out by different teams through the annual action plans. I am happy to report therefore that we made good progress in the FY2015/16 toward improving our performance, even as we dealt with continued volatile conditions at a macro level. We are on target to meet all our strategic objectives. And we are delivering the projects that form the foundation of our aim to become the world's leading water utility.

We are focused on further improving our operating performance in key areas of water and sewerage services improvement as well as internal processes that influence customer satisfaction. Below are some of our recent milestones and achievements.

Financial Sustainability

In the FY 2015/16, NWSC's revenue grew by 24% to Ushs 276.1 trillion compared to FY2014/15, underpinned by 11% growth in water sales and 14% growth in water connections. Earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortisation increased by 80% to Ushs 60.2 billion from Ushs 33.5 in 2014/15. This growth was driven by capital investments, reduction in Non-Revenue Water and growth in water connections. The cash was utilised to fund our capital investments.

I would therefore like to thank the management team and all members of staff for their efforts across the year. I look forward to the Corporation making continued progress towards our ambition to become financially self-sustainable. This achievement, and several others, are detailed further in this report.

Change in strategic focus:

In 2013, under the current leadership, the Corporation changed its strategic focus and launched the first ever Five Year Strategic Direction (SD) 2013 – 2018. During the FY2015/16, the SD was revised to 2016-2021 aimed at gearing the Corporation for transformational changes in its operational and geographical mandate and highlights the Corporation's contribution towards the National Vision of transforming Uganda from a Peasant to a self-sustaining economy. In line with the SD, the NWSC has formulated and implemented a plethora of innovative managerial programs aimed at achieving sustainable service delivery. Key among the programmes is the Infrastructure Service Delivery Programme (ISDP) currently implemented in all the operational areas. The ISDP's main focus is intensification of water mains extensions to ensure increased accessibility to water and sewerage services. In addition, the Corporation is implementing Water Supply Stabilization Programme (WSSP) in all the areas as a means to increase water production and supply.

In 2014, NWSC launched an aggressive "Water for All" program whose objective is expanding the mandate of the Corporation to cover all major urban centres within Uganda in a bid to ensure accelerated service delivery .Within the framework of the water for all program, NWSC during the FY 2015/16 superintended the development and implementation of the following innovative initiatives;

Geographical expansion:

To ensure accelerated service delivery in the urban areas, key among our focus areas is increased service coverage through expansion of the Corporation's mandate to cover all urban centres of Uganda. To this effect, the number of towns under NWSC jurisdiction increased from 110 towns as at the end of June 2015 to 250 urban centres at the end of the FY2017/18. This is in tandem with the Urban Water Sector reform target and NDP II target of ensuring 100% water coverage in the medium term. Whereas the expansion makes our services more accessible, our ultimate goal is to ensure that the entire population in the urban areas effectively access reliable and potable water supply. This is being pursued through implementation of Performance Improvement Programmes aimed at increasing the customer base especially in the virgin areas. In the FY2015/16, new connections made were 38,000 connections contributing to an improvement in service coverage. Plans are under way to carry out a baseline survey in all our operational areas to establish the actual water service coverage, currently estimated at 78.6%.

Infrastructure service delivery:

In order to step-up water production and improve water supply reliability and service coverage, NWSC initiated the systematic rehabilitation, upgrade and expansion of infrastructure through annual Infrastructure Service Delivery Plans (ISDP) and Water Stabilization Plans (WSP). These two initiatives aim at providing for network expansion and reducing water supply shortages in the short to medium term. During the FY2015/16 over 900Kms of water and 18.5Kms of sewer mains were extended in different parts of the country. In The last two and a half Years alone, NWSC extended over 2,805Kms of water mains under the program. This is a transformational re-alignment of strategy considering that the corporation used to extend an average of less than 80kms per year. At this pace of infrastructure growth, the Corporation will be able to double the size of its current network in the next 4 years.
In addition to implementation of the above programmes, I am glad to report that the Corporation is implementing a number of capital intensive projects that are strategically aimed at ensuring sustainable delivery of water and sewerage services. The key ones include;

Kampala Water – Lake Victoria WATSAN Project (KWLVWATSAN): The project aims at providing long-term solutions to the water supply challenges of Kampala and meeting Kampala's water demand for the year 2040. It has 3 sub components;

Upgrading and rehabilitation of the Gaba Water Treatment Complex.

Construction of new Water Treatment Plant East of Kampala.

Construction of the Katosi – Kampala Drinking Water Transmission Main.

New Soroti Intake Project. developed to replace the old intake for Soroti water supply system that was washed away during the October-November Teso floods of 2010

Water Management and Development Project (WMDP) with water supply improvement measures in areas of Gulu, Arua, Mbale & Bushenyi.

Buloba Water Supply Project. aimed at extending and improving water supply to Buloba and neighbouring areas

Kapeeka Water Supply Project. fully funded by the NWSC and is aimed at developing a new water supply system for Kapeeka town

In regard to sewer, the Corporation continued with the implementation of Kampala Sanitation Project (KSP): broadly aimed at improving urban hygiene and sanitation services within Kampala through rehabilitation and expansion of the current sewage system. The project is phased; Phase I involved the rehabilitation of Bugolobi sewerage system and construction of Lubigi Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) which was completed and is now fully operational.

Phase II comprises; Construction and operation of Nakivubo Waste Water Treatment Plant, Nakivubo and Kinawataka Sewers Project, Kinawataka Pre-treatment and Pumping Station as well as Community Mobilization.
It is noteworthy however, most of these capital projects interventions are financed using internally generated resources.

Using the in-house IT team, NWSC has developed a number of in-house innovations that have greatly enhanced customer services. Among these innovations included: (a) the E-Water Payment System – where NWSC has partnered with banks and the telecom companies which has greatly enhanced the customer convenience when settling water bills; (b) The new billing system developed in-house, which in addition to saving the Corporation money, is more interactive and with improved interfacing functionalities. With the new system application, processing and tracking of new water connections is done on-line; and (c) The Corporation has also developed a smart phone mobile application that enables customers check their accounts, pay bills and send queries through their smart phones. NWSC has also adopted a 24-hour call centre and social media platform, readily responding to tweets from customers and keeping the world updated on NWSC programs and developments. To deepen customer care and ensure consumer delight the corporation has launched the customer relationship programme where every customer is taken care of by a customer relationship officer. All this is aimed at ensuring customer delight.

External Services Expansion

Through our External Service unit (ESU), the Corporation has created synergies within utility providers that result in an uplift of performance. The ESU has partners with several utilities in in Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, South Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago and Uganda amongst others. This is made possible by the existence of a well-balanced and motivated professional workforce.

Stakeholder Engagement:
As a company that seeks to be a part of the communities in which it operates, NWSC has taken the message of "Water for all" to every community. This has been majorly through Water Community Communication Clubs (WACOCO), effective engagement with religious institutions and centres, opinion pieces in local dailies and airtime on radio and Television stations. This has improved the corporation's reputation and reduced incidences of misunderstandings between the corporation and its customers. Bi-Annual Water Barazas have also been introduced in order to improve communication between NWSC and the communities, and also get feedback on NWSC services, successes and failures.

Water and Sanitation in schools:
The Corporation continued with School Water and Sanitation (SWAS) clubs; a very novel initiative that targets the next generation (school children).Through the SWAS clubs, NWSC creates awareness about water and sanitation in the country through sensitization and empowerment of children who become water and sanitation ambassadors. The SWAS clubs have been rolled out in over 100 schools across the country and each school holds water and sanitation days with activities including; Poems, games, debates, essays, quizzes, skits, drama, green campaign (tree planting), WASH tech innovations, and school talks.

Water Loss Prevention:
As is the case with many water utility companies especially in developing countries, Non-Revenue Water is a major hurdle to effective service delivery. During the FY2015/16, as a result of programs implemented, Non-Revenue Water reduced 3.2 percentage points from 31.2% to 28.0%. Among the programmes was the pro-active community-based illegal use reduction programme code named WALOPU (Water Loss Prevention Unit) where the Corporation partnered with the police, Judiciary and community to fight illegal water use and hence reduce water theft.

Pro-poor initiatives:
Service to the urban poor remains one of the biggest challenges for most utilities in Africa. The Corporation has systematically increased the number of public stand posts water points in a bid to improve services for the urban poor communities. During the FY2015/16, 1,129 PSPs were installed bringing the total of 10,841 PSPs where people can draw water at a subsidised tariff. Public Sanitation facilities have also been built to complete the water and sanitation chain.

As a result of the good performance, the Corporation won several regional and global awards in recognition of its efficiency improvements in customer care, excellence and innovation, infrastructure service delivery, and replicating good practices to other utilities through the external services wing of the Corporation. Among the recognitions awards received in FY2015/16 included;

The International Diamond Price in Quality, 2015
Best Learning and Development Corporation, 2015
Best Public Company Award 2015 in the category of Health Care"
Kampala Water Team won the Silver Best Employer of the year Award
The African Water Utility of the Year"
"Inspirational Company Award", from the World Confederation of World Businesses
Best Government Agency on Social Media, Digital Impact Awards 2015.
Best Parastatal & Government Entity 2015.
Financial Reporting (FiRe) Award 2015
Best Sustainability Reporting 2015, Financial Reporting (FiRe) Award.
NWSC has also received several awards at home, regionally and internationally and stands out as one of the most exemplary public enterprises in Uganda.

We look forward to significant improvements in all our operations. As a key yardstick, we shall endeavour to fast track the implementation of the various performance improvement programs and projects. Furthermore, we shall continue seeking innovative solutions so that the fruits of safe, clean, affordable and effective water and sewerage services are delivered to all urban areas.

I wish to pledge my support to the corporation's management and staff and in addition remind all the stakeholders that besides all the achievements during the FY2015/16, there is still an enormous challenge that lies ahead. I have faith that through cooperation and dedication, we shall rise to the occasion and take the performance of NWSC another notch higher.

Allow me to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to the Ministry of water and environment as well as MFPED for their unwavering support and decisive leadership throughout the years. The guidance that these Ministries provide is invaluable in the interest of improving water and sewerage services in Uganda. On behalf of the entire NWSC, let me also take this opportunity to congratulate the newly appointed Minister of MWE and thank him for his support and guidance thus far.

In the same breadth, I wish to thank our development partners who have always been willing and ready to augment our resources. We also wish to thank the Parliamentary Committee on natural resources for providing the necessary guidance on complex matters that form part of water sector. We give absolute assurance that we shall continue upholding the mandate of the Corporation.

We also wish to acknowledge the contribution that we get from members of the public, especially the myriad of stakeholders in the water and sanitation sector. It is through your feedback, partnerships and progressive association that the NWSC continues to make the necessary strides in the sector.

A special word of thanks goes to the Board for its dedicated guidance over the last financial year. We are thankful to the Board for its collective guidance on matters critical to the Corporation and for mapping a strategic direction for the next five years.

Last and certainly not least, I wish to thank management and all staff members for their dedication and drive to contribute towards the NWSC's success and aspiration of being leading customer centered water utility in the world.

I thank you.

Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha
Managing Director