The South African Local Government Association (Salga) and Japan Water Works Association (JWWA) are collaborating to improve water management within South Africa and Japan’s municipalities.
A letter of intent (LoI) was entered into on April 21 to share information, improve public health, and enhance and develop safe and sufficient water management and supply.
The LoI will assist to regularise and level-up the partnership with evidence that the two organisations bring value to the table in a quest to advance better water management.
The collaboration was formalised during a virtual joint feedback session after a series of water management webinars that started early in 2021.
Salga and JWWA have jointly initiated and convened three water management webinars focusing on human resources development, disaster/emergency response, and product quality and technology and innovation.
Highlighted during these webinars was the success in creating a platform for municipalities from both countries to share knowledge, experiences, challenges and solutions in the water supply sector.
“Today’s conservation is critical for us as Salga. One of our mandates is to support and advise, and most importantly, to find solutions to challenges faced by our member municipalities. Our water services delivery track record has been incrementally improving,” Salga CEO Xolile George said during the joint feedback session.
During the 2018/19 reporting period, municipalities increased access to water and sanitation by 5.2% and 7.6% respectively.
“There is always room for improvement and we are cognisant of the stubborn challenges that persist, such as nonrevenue water, reliability of supply, infrastructure management, human resources development, and data management and analytics, besides others,” he said.
Japan has excelled in these fields and Salga aims to further “exchange notes” on Japan’s recipe for success.
The webinars were attended by 1 072 participants and had an evaluation rating of 77%.
Salga, jointly with Japan International Cooperation Agency, also convened a water supply learning and sharing conversation between eThekwini metro, Umgeni Water, Water Institute of South Africa and Yokohama City’s young water professionals.