Utility Platform
Newsletter - No. 6 - December 2023

Dear readers,

One of the highlights of the Utility Platform in the last quarter of 2023 was certainly our participation in the German-Ukrainian municipal partnership conference in Leipzig. In her closing statement, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze spoke of "the impressive commitment of our municipal water utilities". We are very pleased that the commitment in the solidarity utility partnerships and the many donations from the water utilities are now also being recognised at the highest political level. Around 550 high-ranking representatives from municipalities, districts, city associations and municipal utilities accepted the invitation to the sixth German-Ukrainian municipal partnership conference in Leipzig. In addition to the optimisation of cooperation and direct aid, the main focus was on strategic considerations regarding medium to long-term projects. "Water and sanitation supply in Ukraine - Which partnership approaches help during the war and during reconstruction?" was therefore also the topic of the Utility Platform's expert forum.

Around the time of the partnership conference, two delegations of municipal water suppliers from Ukraine used their stay in Germany to visit their partners. Colleagues from Sumy and Chernihiv travelled to OOWV in Oldenburg and experts from Kyiv visited Hamburg Wasser. In addition to improvements in management, operation and maintenance, the focus here was also on discussing ideas for reorganising the water and wastewater companies as part of the post-war reconstruction in Ukraine.

In this issue, we also provide deeper insights into the cooperation with African water utilities. Darby Gounden (Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality), Samantha Westphal (City of Oldenburg) and Meike Lenzen (OOWV) report on the benefits of the utility partnership. The funding applied for as part of the SKEW's "Municipal Climate Protection and Adaptation Projects (FKKP)" has now also been approved, giving the partnership further impetus.

The utility partnership Lukanga Water & Sanitation Company in Zambia with Gelsenwasser and Emschergenossenschaft/Lippeverband has a special form of support: engineer Michaela Karolina Braun is working at Lukanga as a development advisor and explains in an interview in this issue how she is helping to implement planned measures. Her position is being funded for two years by the "Expert Fund for Municipal Partnerships Worldwide" from Engagement Global/SKEW and GIZ. City partnerships that would also like staff support can submit an expression of interest to the Expert Fund by 31 January 2024.

And please save the date of 24 to 26 April. All companies involved in utility partnerships are then invited to our networking event in Dresden, which will also mark the end of the pilot project.

We wish you happy holidays and a good start to 2024.

Your Utility Platform team
Heiko Heidemann (GIZ) and Linda Engel (SKEW)

Geographic information systems and maintenance of pipe networks
Job shadowing of colleagues from Kyiv at Hamburg Wasser

For over a year now, Hamburg Wasser has been exchanging information with its Ukrainian colleagues from Kyiv on water treatment issues and the use of geographic information systems (GIS) in pipeline networks. The cooperation has so far taken place in online workshops only. Now, face-to-face dialogue has intensified this partnership.

German-Ukrainian Municipal Partnership Conference 2023
Water and sanitation supply in Ukraine – Which partnership approaches help during the war and reconstruction?

The Utility Platform hosted an expert forum at the 6th German-Ukrainian Municipal Partnership Conferene in Leipzig. Since February 2022, German and Ukrainian water suppliers have teamed up in 16 solidarity partnerships. The event featured practical examples and over 60 participants discussed how partnerships can help in times of war and reconstruction.

Concepts for new drinking water and wastewater systems
Ukrainian water suppliers visit the OOWV in November 2023

The Oldenburgisch-Ostfriesischer Wasserverband (OOWV) has established a solidarity partnership with the cities of Sumy and Chernihiv. Both cities are located near the Russian border and have suffered severely from the war. OOWV is supporting the maintenance and reconstruction of the local water infrastructure with its expertise and some equipment. In November, the Ukrainian experts have visited their German partners for the second time.

"It is simply wonderful to see how the exchange goes beyond the programme"
The engineer Karolina MICHAELA BRAUN SUPPORTS THE LUKANGA WATER & SANITATION COMPANY through the expert fund for municipal partnerships

Michaela Karolina Braun has been working as an development adivisor in Kabwe, Zambia, for around a year and supports the Lukanga Water & Sanitation Company, which also maintains a utility partnership with Gelsenwasser and the Emschergenossenschaft / Lippeverband. In our interview, she talks about her personal experiences and the challenges of the collaboration.

"Small changes have a big impact"
welt-sichten-Dossier: Together for a sustainable future

In the latest edition of the magazine "welt-sichten", Darby Gounden (Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality), Samantha Westphal (City of Oldenburg) and Meike Lenzen (Oldenburgisch-Ostfriesischer Wasserverband) talk about the benefits of a water utility partnership for both sides and explain which tasks are currently in focus.

Network meeting at the end of the pilot phase of the utility platform
SAVE THE DATE: 24 – 26 APRIL 2024

The utility platform pilot phase is due to end by 30 June 2024. A good reason to reflect on what has been achieved and look ahead to what comes next. Participating utilities are cordially invited!

Call for Declarations of Interest until January 31, 2024

Actively promoting municipal friendships beyond national borders – this is what the cooperation program "Expert Fund for Municipal Partnerships Worldwide" by Engagement Global/Service Agency Communities in One World and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) does. The Expert Fund supports municipal partnerships through the deployment of experts who are actively involved in the implementation of joint projects in the partner municipality for two years.
Please note: Applications must be submitted by a German municipality. 

Media Centre
Utility Platform
The Utility Platform is a joint project of:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Potsdamer Platz 10, 10785 Berlin | Deutschland
Kontakt: Heiko Heidemann
Email: heiko.heidemann@giz.de
Engagement Global gGmbH
Service Agency Communities in One World

Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 40, 53113 Bonn | Germany
Contact: Linda Engel
Email: linda.engel@engagement-global.de
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