Achieving access to drinking water in the Central African Republic

Achieving access to drinking water in the Central African Republic

Achieving access to drinking water in the Central African Republic 907 682 Agenda for Change

Technical assistance mission for the sustainable development of drinking water services in Central African Republic.

By Hilaire Dongobada, Technical Advisor for IRC & Water for Good

This blog has been re-shared from IRC’s website – see the original article here.

Water for Good and IRC have done a technical assignment in the Central African Republic (CAR). The objective was to support WFG’s ambition to achieve universal access to water and sanitation in region 2 (starting with the Mambéré Kadéi prefecture) and to support the national ambition to improve water and sanitation services in the whole republic. Water for Good has been working in the Central African Republic since 2004 to provide drinking water services to its people.

From left to right: Crépin Mavoungou Makapou (Water for Good), a water user and Hilaire Dongobada (technical advisor IRC/Water for Good)

The four objectives of the assignment were:

  1. Provide advisory support to Water for Good;
  2. Determination of the costs and financing of a prefectural strategic plan;
  3. Evaluation of Water for Good’s capacities to carry out the national partnership and the proposal of organizational adaptations;
  4. Evaluation of the capacities and opportunities at the national level for the implementation of a national partnership and the paths to follow to achieve this.

The technical assistance mission took place from August 2019 to April 2021 and included remote consultancy support, proposals for management, collaboration tools, and three face-to-face field missions.

From left to right: Crépin Mavoungou Makapou (Water for Good), Noufé Sanza (Water for Good), Hilaire Dongobada (technical advisor IRC/Water for Good) and the Regional Director of Energy and Hydraulic Resources, Region 2

The main results of this technical assistance are:

  • Mapping of influential actors in the water and sanitation sector in CAR, at national and local levels, divided into state actors (mainly the Ministry of Energy and Hydraulic Resources, Directorate General of Water Resources, National Agency for Water and Sanitation in Rural Areas, Corporation for Water Distribution in the Central African Republic, etc.) and non-state actors including NGOs (Water for Good, World Vision, Oxfam, etc.) and technical and financial partners (UNICEF, European Union, World Bank, ADB, etc.).
  • Establishment of a permanent connection between Water for Good and state actors, in the form of the signing of an agreement between the Government, represented by the Minister in charge of Water, and Water for Good.
  • Submission of a draft contract for the management of water supply facilities in the WFG intervention zone, i.e., region 2, based on a Public-Private Partnership format with Water for Good being the private partner; the management contract is still under discussion.
  • Support to the reorganization of the local Water for Good staff with the presence of a locally based Country Director and the strengthening of the advocacy, communication, and accountability team.
  • Initiation of the implementation of a hub role by Water for Good at the regional and national levels with the holding of a national workshop to share the results and the approach of Water for Good’s intervention in CAR.

From this first period of technical assistance, we can note that all the actors are on board and that there is confidence in the initiatives of Water for Good. On this basis, it is possible to start the implementation of the 2030 objectives in CAR. To this end, the partnership between Water for Good and UNICEF is the backbone on which a strengthened WASH system in the republic can be built.

In addition, it is important for Water for Good to continue to strengthen its own structure in order to meet the new challenges and requirements to become a hub, both at the local and national levels. The reorganisation and strengthening of local staff remain essential.

Finally, although there is a great deal of willingness on the part of the various actors to collaborate, change takes time and will require a great deal of investment in time and energy from staff, who must be equipped to deal with it. The challenge can be met, provided that all local staff believe in it and have the full support of international staff.

A new phase of technical assistance may be needed to continue to support the momentum of Water for Good, which has been more or less disrupted by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the political instability and deteriorating security environment in the country since the end of 2020.

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