11 november 2006
Vitens awarded for public-private partnership in drinking water
The award is one of the means to stimulate public-private partnerships (PPPs). The Dutch government advocates this kind of cooperation with the private sector, as it is conceived to be a profitable way to reduce poverty. Since the UN Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, some fifty PPPs have been founded. Although no systematic monitoring or evaluation has been performed, the Dutch government firmly believes that PPPs can contribute to the Millennium Development Goals, which aim for reducing global poverty by half in the year 2015.
The PPP-award is meant for partnerships that "reinforce the capacity of people, structures and systems and have the potential to be multiplied", as minister Agnes van Ardenne stated at the ceremony this week. The PPP in which Vitens is involved, has exactly these characteristics. It started in Mozambique. In cooperation with a local public institution new water facilities were constructed, old ones were repaired, and over one hundred people were trained to maintain the system. This approach has been duplicated in another region of Mozambique, followed by projects in Ghana, Yemen, Vietnam and Mongolia. Director Jan Hoffer: "Through the contracts that we have signed until now, we will be able to provide 9 million people with potable water. That is almost one fifth of the aim of the Minister for Development Cooperation: fifty million more people with access to clean water by the year 2015."
What was in his opinion the advantage of working through a public-private partnership? Jan Hoffer: "Of course the subsidies from the Dutch government, which enabled us to upscale the projects, were essential. And the participation of the Dutch government helped us to get access to the governments in the countries we work in."
The PPP-award does not involve a sum of money. It is only an honourable document.
P+ Webtip: Vitens