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Water and Sanitation Corporation Warned On Human Resources, Project Management

by Daniel Sabiiti
1:17 pm

Wasac Acting Chief Executive Officer, Gisèle Umuhumuza at parliament

The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has said the long standing problems within the Water and Sanitation Corporation (Wasac) will only end if the issue of human resource is managed properly.

The remarks were given by the Auditor General (AG) during a parliament Public Account Committee (PAC) hearing in which officials of the corporation couldn’t explain how they planned for projects without funding and also failed to implement some others due to “poor project planning and breaching procurement laws.”

For instance, Wasac key investments that were to be undertaken include: Construction of Kigali faecal sludge treatment plant, rehabilitation and upgrading of semi-centralized sewerage system in Kigali estates, construction of semi centralized sewerage systems in all planned and grouped settlements, construction of modern landfills in all districts and, putting in place waste treatment facilities.

However, much as the government availed financial resources, the construction projects which should have been completed by December 2021 and June 2022 have not yet started.

These include; nine (9) water supply infrastructure projects, five (5) sanitation infrastructure projects and two (2) Construction of Central Water and Wastewater Laboratory and Water and Sanitation Operations Training Centre.

Of these categories, the Water Supply infrastructure and services improvement had only two of 11 projects implemented – that is the Kigali City and Rusizi water Supply Network at 62% and 83% respectively.

Under the Sanitation infrastructures and services improvement- only one project- Rehabilitation and upgrading of semi-centralized systems was at 33.27% of the six projects.

This means that nothing has been done on other projects including two under the Construction of Central Water and Wastewater Laboratory and Water and Sanitation Operations Training Center.

Unplanned Tender and Fraudulent Moves

Irregularities were noted from review of tender for construction of 19.7 Km for Nkururo Nyamicucu-Kivuye water supply system.

The OAG found unexplained difference between revised procurement plan and estimated cost utilized in tender document.

In effect, the Wasac Internal Tender Committee recommended the tender of Nkururo-Nyamicucu-Kivuye Water Supply System to be awarded to JV Class Point Ltd and Better Serving Company Ltd for Rwf 1.1billion which exceeded the planned budget of Rwf955.5 million by Rwf239.9billion representing a 25% increase on the planned amount.

Wasac procurement manager, Fred Bazatsinda, tried to explain the circumstances but both PAC and OAG showed that there is no logic and doesn’t need rocket to see the fraudulent acts, which contradict the procurement laws even when the bill is under review.

The AG, Alexis Kamuhire showed that there is still a lack of water especially in Kigali city where in some areas a resident gets water once in four days or more and this is coupled with water losses which has increased to 45.6%.

The AG said this is a loss which amounts to Rwf19billion incurred by Wasac and yet the Kanzenze plant takes almost all the money earned (44%) even when its water production is not equivalent.

Kamuhire showed that the Rwanda Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Program (RSWSSP) worth $440million from EIB & AfDB – is supposed to resolve the water issues in the country and meet the 100% water for all target by 2024 but its progress of the four- year projects which started 2017 has been lacking.

So far, AG said that 19% (Rwf74millon” of the funds have been availed and the rest (Rwf360 million) not available and no projects planned in effect- including the Kigali centralized sewerage system.

“This project is running out of time remaining with one and half years. This means the hope of utilizing the remaining funds is reducing and something must be done,” Kamuhire said.

Kamuhire also noted that Wasac had no board of directors and their tech system (oracle) is outdated and poor bookkeeping thus the cause of its current losses and mismanagement.

Wasac Acting Chief Executive Officer, Gisèle Umuhumuza explained that the feasibility studies were delayed by experts not traveling during COVID19 yet some projects had an eight month implementation thus they had to wait instead of changing the proposal for the study.

Umuhumuza said it’s true that some projects have no feasibility studies but for others there were budget constraints, which would all together take four years, thus asking for an extension to 2026.

AG said that there is no need to extend the problem it is in procurement procedure which needs to be corrected otherwise the same issues will pop up and none of the projects will be moved, since they have been long overdue since 2017 and with a cost of over $300 million.

Budget Issues

The Budget committee Chairman, MP Omar Munyaneza, pinned Wasac on budget use saying budget increased but value for money is lacking.

This year Wasac got Rwf58billion and next budget year will be Rwf90billiom and by 2025 it will be more than Rwf110billion.

Wasac explained that they were supposed to start the volcanic belt water projects by March but had issues with the venture involved in implementation of study which was not well done.

He said that however, study is complete and they are looking for an implementation partner to construct the 5km supply line.

On Kigali water master plan, Umuhumuza said that there is need for budget and repair of outdated pipelines and construction of a few more plants.

The hearing lasted over five hours and ended with many issues remaining untouched, especially on the financials which the OAG said all circles around “the poor human resource management of Wasac.”

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