Request for Cooperation during joint Baseline Survey for MWSP-1 :: BWB requests cooperation from citizens in chosen areas for staff bearing identity cards from Hifa or New Dawn and an introduction letter from Blantyre Water Board as they collect data to be used in MWSP-1 project planning and implementation between November 2023 and April 2024 November 8, 2023      
Request for Cooperation during joint Baseline Survey for MWSP-1 :: BWB requests cooperation from citizens in chosen areas for staff bearing identity cards from Hifa or New Dawn and an introduction letter from Blantyre Water Board as they collect data to be used in MWSP-1 project planning and implementation between November 2023 and April 2024 November 8, 2023      

Service Contracts

Blantyre Water Board is implementing a 4-year project which will run up to 2013 and is funded by the European Union and European Investment Bank to the tune of 16 million Euros. Blantyre Water Board will upgrade its major pumping stations at Chileka and Walkers and rehabilitate the twin pipeline that runs from Walkers Ferry to Chileka.

The successful completion of this project will result in improving water availability in Low Income Areas through construction of (363) community water kiosks, reduction of water losses to less than 25% (currently water losses are at about 48%) and increase in production capacity by 20%.

By 2013, production at Walkers Ferry will increase from the current 78, 000m3 to 96,000m3 and with the increased capacity of Mudi it is expected that the total production capacity will increase to 105, 000m3 by 2013. There are several tasks under this project.

Carry out an assessment of the organisational structure of the Blantyre Water Board with respect to the different work processes to be performed under the particular water production conditions, water distribution, required enhanced maintenance, billing, revenue collection, public relation work, financial and technical planning, etc. Pay special attention to the separation of technical and commercial units and ensure all divisions and units report to the most appropriate department (e.g. meter readers to the commercial department).

If necessary, propose to establish new units (e.g. NRW-reduction unit, leakage management unit) and/or delete units as the efficient work flow requires. Staffing: Based on the recommended organisation structure, propose the optimum staffing, taking into consideration the climatic and other working conditions, the generally low level of labour cost, security requirements for water facilities, the manual operation mode of facilities, etc. Specify also the required qualification and grading for the key staff (at least down to the head of units). Review the remuneration scheme and propose improvements with due consideration of the relevant government regulations.

Present international best practice and a clear strategy towards achieving a visible and measurable efficiency improvement within a medium to long term time period. The objective is not to lay-off staff of the Water Boards, but to give the management a clear vision of which kind and qualification of staff they need to train and promote and which staff they shall not replace after a position has become vacant and where staff in excess staff should be engaged e.g. leak detection, repair of leaks etc. Implementation plan:

Prepare a timed and budgeted implementation plan for the proposed organisation structure, staffing level, remuneration scheme and the associated measures. Present the solutions to the management of the Water Board, and in an intensive dialog develop a scenario which is acceptable by the management of the Board and which will be followed during the term of the Service Contract.

The agreed scenario may differ to some extent from the originally proposed (ideal) scenario and needs to be written down as a firm programme to be implemented. Motivate and assist the Water Board in the implementation process. Training: Prepare an Integrated Training Plan, comprising all training plans associated with re-organisation and individual Tasks. Update the Integrated Training Plan on an annual basis.

2.1 Integrated accounting software Review the accounting software and the customer services software (software module) if being up-to-date and for appropriateness. The Water Boards should have fully integrated accounting software which includes, among others, the following modules:

  1. Financial accounting (main book)
  2. Customer services accounting and billing module (customer data, service connection data, meter reading, billing, payment agreement for old debts, reminder letters),
  3. Water meter administration module (for calibration intervals etc)
  4. Cash book module
  5. Material accounting module
  6. Payroll and personnel data management module Schedule 1 2
  7. Fixed assets accounting module (viii) Analysis and reporting module
  8. MIS module (to be programmed customer tailored to produce semi-automatic reports) Propose appropriate measures to bring the accounting software and associated hardware to the appropriate level, by, e.g. upgrading of the software in-house or externally, procurement of new software (if required) and the associated hardware.

    In case of introduction of new software, propose measures to monitor installation, train staff, migrate the data base to the new software, supervise application of upgraded or replaced software in day-to-day operation etc.

2.2 Customer data base

  1. Propose timed and budgeted implementation plan for carrying out a house to house meter survey and updating the customer data base, including staff requirements for the task.
  2. Supervise house to house survey.
  3. Supervise updating of the customer data base with the results of the meter survey.)
  4. Regularly assess status of the customer data base and propose measures for its updating, if required.

2.3 Tariff calculation model

The Service Contractor shall assist the Water Board in proposing a water tariff policy to the Government of Malawi, that sets out

  1. a transparent procedure for the tariff setting which shall inter alia ensure the financial sustainability of the Water Board and include mechanisms for ordinary and extraordinary adjustments; and
  2. a tariff structure that ensures affordability of water services to low-income households. It is envisaged that the Government of Malawi shall approve such water tariff policy within eight (8) months following the execution of the Service Contract.
  3. Develop an adequate tariff calculation model in EXCEL with roll-over feature on the time scale as the basis for the Water Board's tariff application to the relevant regulatory authority. The model should start off with data from the past two years and project the financial situation over 10 years.

    It needs to include cash-flow statement, income statement and balance sheet. The model should determine fully cost covering tariffs for each customer group. If envisaged by the Regulatory Authority, include an automatic tariff increase mechanism linked to the major cost items, e.g. energy tariffs.

  4. Revise the model, when necessary, to reflect the regulatory authority's regulations for tariff determination. Train Water Board staff to update the model annually from the second year onwards.
  5. Supervise the updating and its application.
  6. Assist the Water Board to provide transparency of the tariff calculation to the public Strongly support the Water Board in getting the proposed tariffs approved.

2.4 Tariff calculation model

Meter reading process Assess the meter reading process and propose improvements, e.g. through the following measures:

  1. Optimise intervals for meter reading (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually) for household and non-household customers; meter readers to walk along a route determined by a computer print out; the print does not show the previous meter readings; change assigned districts to meter readers from time to time; (Consider innovative meter reading technologies (e.g. remote meter reading devices and pre-paid metering)
  2. Regular trainings of meter readers (they are the direct contact to the customer) with respect to general information of the Blantyre Water Board, image raising of the Board Procure uniforms, bags and ID cards for meter readers; supervise their outfit and behaviour
  3. Optimise meter reading routes, to reduce reading times and required transport; regular calibration of consumer meters. Prepare a timed and budgeted implementation plan for the proposed measures.
  4. Assist the Water Board in the implementation of the agreed measures.

2.5 Revenue collection Assess the reasons for the level of the revenue collection ratio, and propose measures to improve the ratio by e.g.:

  1. Regular information campaigns by the Water Board for customers; this should include information about water wastage, the Water Board, the cost of water production, why water is not free, the unfairness towards the neighbour by not paying the water bill, the sanction programme, etc.
  2. A clear sanction programme for non-paying customers, such as warning procedure, bring customers in default to court, disconnection procedures, reaction in case of political interference, reconnection fees, disconnection with press and TV coverage; by taking into consideration the legal situation;
  3. Use of new technologies for disconnection (e.g. isolation valves with removable handles);
  4. Optimisation of billing intervals, e.g. by introducing monthly account payments, but quarterly readings;
  5. Optimisation of modes of payment (bank transfer, number and location of cashier offices, opening hours)
  6. Prepare a timed and budgeted implementation plan for the proposed measures
  7. Assist Blantyre Water Board in the implementation of the agreed measures.

Propose the structure of a MIS (reporting intervals, addressees of the reports, type and content of reports) and recommend the appropriate software or software module which produces automatically the reports, to the maximum possible. The MIS should be linked to the integrated accounting and customer service and billing software. MIS should allow the link to technical data like production figures, water quality etc. which do not come automatically from the accounting software.

Propose the appropriate organisational set-up for the MIS, e.g. the establishment of a unit in Blantyre Water Board which is responsible for report preparation, and clearly allocate the responsibility to produce the reports, verify and check data and results for accuracy, provide interpretation of results and make recommendations for the management on decision making.

Specify the required staff qualifications and prepare a training plan.

Prepare a timed and budgeted implementation plans for the proposed measures.

Assist the Water Board in the implementation of the agreed measures.

Supervise preparation of MIS reports and if necessary, recommend further adaptations to the software/reporting until it fits the requirements.

Reduction of real losses

4.1 Procurement Assist Blantyre Water Board in the procurement of the following goods, if deemed appropriate:

  1. Leak detection and measurement devices: sufficient number of ultrasonic flow meters, pressure recorders, leak detection equipment, car batteries for operation in the field, battery chargers, pipe detectors, vehicle etc.
  2. Machines and tools for leakage repair: including truck with crane, excavator, compactor, dumper, asphalt cutter, grader for road repair, welding machine, small power generator, pick-up vehicle, plumbing tool sets.
  3. Leakage repair material.

4.2 Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of distribution system

  1. Assist Blantyre Water Board in procuring and establishing a workable GIS and prepare timed and budgeted implementation plan for GIS mapping, including staff requirements, for establishing / updating the GIS.
  2. Updating activities may include, among others: Enter transmission lines and distribution system including house connections into a GIS. Verify lines in the field where necessary. Show pumping stations, reservoirs, valves, water meters, pressure reducing valves and any other special installations. If possible, link consumer meter data base with GIS.
  3. Train staff in mapping.
  4. Supervise mapping activities of Blantyre Water Board staff.
  5. Develop rules for maintaining and updating GIS data base and supervise maintaining and updating activities.

4.3 Measures for loss reduction Pressure management:

  1. Develop a hydraulic model of the distribution system. Allocate water consumers to the model. Calibrate the model by pressure and flow measurements to a reasonable accuracy.
  2. Present all the important pressure and flow scenarios. Determine suitable zoning of the distribution system.
  3. Analyse and determine possibilities to lower pressures during low consumption periods (night hours) and justify such measure by a cost benefit analysis.
  4. Train staff on hydraulic modelling. Zoning of distribution system:
  5. Propose zoning of the system to maintain under all load conditions a pressure of 1.0 to 6.0 bars in the distribution system, except for transmission lines. Assist the Water Board with procurement and installation of master meters at district inflow points
  6. Check district boundary valves and propose installation of new valves where necessary.
  7. Assist the Water Board with procurement and installation of break pressure tanks or pressure reducing valves where applicable Loss reduction programme for transmission and pumping lines
  8. Carry out flow measurements at the transmission lines, by taking into consideration pipe off-takes.
  9. Identify leaks, initiate and supervise repair works. Testing of reservoirs
  10. Carry out volumetric tests at all reservoirs.
  11. Identify leaks, initiate and supervise repair works.

4.4 Active leak detection and leak repair in distribution system

  1. Develop a leak detection programme, being based on a project cycle to cover all distribution system within reasonable time intervals.
  2. Identify leaks and supervise repair works. Ensure that leaks are repaired after being identified.
  3. Train staff permanently on the job. The leak detection will be done by night flow
  4. measurements as well as with the help of leak detection equipment (microphones, correlators). Priority I: carry out repair of visible leaks, and reduce response time to an acceptable level; o Priority II: carry out active leak detection by night flow measurements, microphone and correlators.
  5. Establish and supervise maintenance of a leakage data bank, if possible connected to the GIS to be able to show location and frequency of bursts and leaks. Reduction of apparent / commercial losse

4.5 Customer metering programme

4.6 Assess status of existing water meters and propose measures for improvement. This may comprise

  1. Procurement and installation of a water meter calibration station, testing of old meters, procurement of new water meters and repair materials. If procurement is deemed appropriate, assist the Water Board in procurement and installation of a water meter calibration station
  2. Training staff to do meter calibration.
  3. Assisting the Water Board to procure consumer water meters and repair material for consumer water meters.
  4. Supervising exchange of all consumer water meters.
  5. Supervising testing of the old meters. If feasible, the Water Board should repair them and calibrate them for re-installation.
  6. Developing a cost scheme for the new water meters which could, for example, envisage that the new water meters are not “sold” to the customers but rented to them and they will pay a monthly meter rent, approximately the cost of a meter, spread over 7 years. Such fee would have to be introduced. This may require the adaptation of the water supply contract agreement between the Blantyre Water Board and customers and will require the approval by the tariff approving authority (Government).
  7. Assisting the Water Board in the implementation of the agreed measures.

4.7 Illegal connections and unbilled authorised consumption Illegal connections will appear in the course of the active leak detection programme. Also kiosk operators will report illegal connections.

  1. Develop a programme on how to legalise such connections and announce it in advance to the customers in order to give them time to report such connections by themselves.
  2. Develop a sanction scheme which may include a fine for illegal use and a connection fee. If the connection is not done professionally, the cost of physical connection may be added also.
  3. Quantify unbilled authorised consumption. This is a consumption that is permitted by the Blantyre Water Board, free of charge. Typical consumption of this type is the water used by fire brigades for training purposes, the use of hydrants for street washing, watering of park areas and public fountains. All consumers of this category will be identified. All significant consumers should be equipped with water meters, even if they are not billed.
  4. Propose list of consumers to be equipped with meters, prepare programme for installation of meters, and supervise installation.
  5. Assist Blantyre Water Board in the implementation of the agreed measures.

The Service Contractor will

  • Assess Blantyre Water Board's operation and maintenance practices and propose improvements, and based on this, design, revise or upgrade operation and maintenance plans for the operation of the entire water supply system of the Water Board. This includes:
    1. an operation manual for all water supply facilities;
    2. a maintenance manual, detailing what type and how maintenance works are carried out;
    3. a routine maintenance plan, specifying the maintenance intervals and type of maintenance works to be done.
  • Specify staffing requirements, staff qualifications and training needs for the proposed plans.
  • Carry out training on the job by implementing the plans

Study the possibility to save energy cost by shifting pump operations into off-peak periods with respect to power tariffs. A first step will be to assess such possibilities by optimising the use of the existing installations like pump, transmission line and reservoir capacities. Implement such saving potentials where possible without significant investments.

In a second step, carry out economic analyses for cases where the capacity increase of some facility would lead to a cost reduction.

Assist the Water Board in negotiations with the energy provider.

Prepare a timed and budgeted implementation plan for the proposed measures.

Assist the Water Board in the implementation of the agreed measures.

The extension of water supply to low income areas (LIAs) requires a close and intensive cooperation with the NGO who will do the “software” work for this task. The basic philosophy of the concept is that Blantyre Water Board is responsible for construction of the facilities, such as water supply lines and water kiosks. Operation and maintenance of the kiosks shall be entrusted to private kiosk operators or to Water User Associations (WUA). The NGO will support the Water Board in identifying the location for water kiosks and establish kiosk management associations / WUA.

7.1 Workplan for extension of supply to LIAs

  • Develop in close cooperation with the Water Board and the NGO a jointly agreed workplan for extension of supply to LIAs, including a priority list of intervention areas, the route of the supply lines and distribution network, the position of water kiosks to be constructed, quality standards, and other issues deemed appropriate by the parties. The workplan should be timed and budgeted.
  • Ensure consistency with the Water Board's rehabilitation, extension and expansion programme.

7.2 Procurement Assist the Water Board in the procurement of the material necessary for the supply to low income areas.

7.3 Water kiosk operation Provide assistance to the Water Board in the final design of a contract agreement with private kiosk operators and in the management and supervision of the contract and the kiosk operators.

The cost of a yard or an individual connection exceeds the affordability for low-income customers. Therefore, a revolving fund shall be established and maintained with the Water Board, which enables such customers to pay the connection fee in installments over a period of a maximum of 4 years.

Advertise the fund among its potential beneficiaries, and a timed and budgeted implementation

Plan for the establishment of the fund.Once established, support the Water Board in promoting, managing and applying the fund.

  • Support the Water Board in its efforts to provide good services to the customers by PR works. Such will be information campaigns through information folders, posters, radio and TV announcements and through the kiosk operators. Information campaigns shall be designed and implemented, among others, for the following purposes:
    1. To raise the image of the Water Board by making customers aware of their activities and their efforts to provide good services, as well as by informing customers in advance of possible problems and supply shortages;
    2. Promotion of individual connections and yard connections;
    3. Information dissemination with respect to health and hygiene, avoiding water wastage and the need to pay for the service; this needs to be coordinated with the NGO working in this field;
    4. Information on tariff determination, sanction programmes and fines
  • Review existing PR concept and recommend improvements.
  • If appropriate, prepare Terms of Reference for PR sub-contractor for general information campaign and for specific PR works will also include training and regular information sessions for kiosk operators and water meter readers.
  • Provide support to the Water Board in continuing implementation of the HIV/AIDS programme. This includes awareness building, encouragement to do HIV/AIDS tests and prevention of disease spreading.
  • Assess the Water Board's HIV/AIDS programme
  • Make recommendations for improvement and prepare an implementation programme which makes optimum use of the Project budget for the HIV/AIDS programme and the Water Board's regular budget for the HIV/AIDS programme.

The investment programme has three main components:

  • Increase in water production capacity to 105,000 m³/day and removal of bottlenecks in the water supply system at Walker's Ferry and Chileka Pumping Station,
  • Reduction in the NRW
  • Water supply in low-income areas The tasks of the Service Contractor include, but are not limited to:
    1. Update / revision of the indicative prioritisation of the investment programme, as submitted with the Service Contractor’s Technical Proposal;
    2. Review and update of the detailed designs already available;
    3. Where no detailed design is available, or where the existing design concepts need to be changed preparation of detailed design;
    4. Preparation / completion of bidding documents for equipment
    5. Support of the Water Board during the bidding process
    6. Support of the Water Board during the evaluation and recommend to the Water Boards on bidders or suppliers
    7. Support of the Water Board during negotiation of supply contracts
    8. (A) Assist the Water Board in the supervision of the implementation of the Investment Program, 8. (B) Construction supervision according to international standards (e.g. FIDIC rules)