Yokohama Waterworks Bureau (YWWB), a utility company that supplies water to the city of Yokohama in Japan, has signed a memorandum of cooperation with Blantyre Water Board (BWB) to strengthen their cooperation.
The cooperation will result in the YWWB sending four short-term volunteers to the utility company every year from April 2017 to March 2020.
YWWB has previously been sending its staff as Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) short-term volunteers to the board since 2014.
BWB chief executive Henry Bakuwa and YWWB director of technical coordination Hiroshi Shiono signed the memorandum at the board’s head office in Blantyre.
The main objective of dispatching volunteers is to build BWB’s capacity to acquire the skills of non-revenue water reduction through proper way of collecting data, according to a media brief.
“What is expected of the board is to accept the volunteers and provide staff for them as counterparts,” reads the brief in part.
The memorandum was signed at the end of a three-day mission where several delegates from Jica, Yokohama Waterworks, Africa and Middle East International Affairs Bureau of City of Yokohama and Yokohama Works Company Limited assessed the impact of a course of African Region Urban Waterworks Engineering to Malawi.
The mission also assessed ways of improving the Jica Volunteer Programme, which has been in ties with BWB since September 2014 when it started sending its staff to assist in a number of operations such as leak detection, revenue collection, public relations, mapping, planning and non-revenue water.
The Government of Japan through Jica has assisted the Government of Malawi in a number of projects in the water sector.
Since 2009, the YWWB has been training Malawian counterparts in waterworks engineering.