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Published on: 18/10/2021

This article has been written by Hilaire Dongobada

Water for Good (WFG) and IRC have conducted 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 (WFG), a water user and Hilaire Dongobada (technical advisor for IRC and WFG)

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

The four objectives of the assignment were:

  1. advisory support to WFG;
  2. determination of the costs and financing of a prefectural strategic plan;
  3. evaluation of WFG's capacities to carry out the national partnership and the proposal of organisational adaptations; 
  4. evaluation of the capacities and opportunities at 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 (WFG), Noufé Sanza (WFG), Hilaire Dongobada (technical advisor IRC/WFG) and the Regional Director of Energy and Hydraulic Resources, Region 2.

From left to right : Crépin Mavoungou Makapou (WFG), Noufé Sanza (WFG), Hilaire Dongobada (technical advisor IRC/WFG) 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 WFG being the private partner; the management contract is still under discussion.
  • Support to the reorganisation of local WFG 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 WFG at regional and national level with the holding of a national workshop to share the results and the approach of WFG'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 WFG and UNICEF is the backbone on which a strengthened WASH system in the republic can be built.

In addition, it is important for WFG to continue to strengthen its own structure in order to meet the new challenges and requirements to become a hub, both at local and national level. 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 WFG, 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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