South to South Learning at its Best
August 24, 2018
CDIA facilitates a study tour for technical experts from Jalandhar, India to learn from the successful experiences of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Four technical experts from the Municipal Corporation of Jalandhar in Punjab, India, took part in a CDIA-sponsored capacity development measure and visited the Dhaka Water Supply & Sewerage Authority (DWASA) in Bangladesh.
The objective of the study tour was to promote an opportunity to learn from a well-known case study on “The Dhaka Water Services Turnaround” on the successful institutional transformation of DWASA, which developed to become one of South Asia’s best public water utilities. Currently, the City of Jalandhar is faced with very similar challenges and tasks as part of the ongoing process to switch from ground water to surface water provision.
During the four-day event from 06th to 09th of August 2018, the delegation took part in a tailored program, which included presentations from DWASA’s Managing Director, Mr. Taqsem Khan, among others. There were also various field visits to study the district metering area concept, and see the actual pipe laying using trenchless technology, which allows to push pipes through the ground without having to dig open a whole street. Another impressive highlight was the visit to the Sayedabad Water Treatment Plant, where participants learned how Dhaka manages to treat large quantities of water to make it more suitable for consumers.
Among the technical issues explained in switching from ground to surface water was the need for institutional reforms, such as the transformation of DWASA to become an autonomous body with strong focus on serving its customers. This likewise included seeing people from informal settlements as potential customers. Meanwhile, to resolve the challenge of revenue-generation, the need for proper metering and tariff reforms was acknowledged by the delegation as the right solution.
The study tour further included liaison meetings with representatives of the Asian Development Bank Bangladesh Resident Mission (ADB-BRM), GIZ Bangladesh and the German development bank KfW, who were all very welcoming towards the delegation and openly shared their experiences.
The visit concluded with a lesson-learned workshop among 50 participants, where the technical experts from India shared their experiences and plans to implement the lessons they acquired from the visit. The participants further consisted of personnel from DWASA, as well as representatives from the ADB-BRM and other stakeholders.
The study tour complemented the ongoing Project Preparation Study (PPS) supported by CDIA in Jalandhar, which is currently at its interim stage. Lessons learned from the tour are expected to aid infrastructure development and implementation towards a more resilient water supply in the city.
Overall, the mission was received with exceeding appraisal and appreciation by the delegation. DWASA turned out to be the most ideal partner to facilitate this learning exchange and went out of their way regarding their hospitality towards the delegation.