Program to strengthen Russian municipal management

Municipal water and wastewater enterprises (vodokanals) in Russian cities should benefit from a management strengthening

Municipal water and wastewater enterprises (vodokanals) in Russian cities should benefit from a management strengthening and operational improvement program (MSOIP) given the successful conclusion of a similar endeavour in St. Petersburg.

The UK consultancies Mott MacDonald and Severn Trent Water International helped St. Petersburg's water and wastewater utility introduce corporate planning and a new approach to sustainable financial management, customer service and environmentally-friendly operational practises. Consequ-ently, the Russian state committee on construction, housing and communal services (Gosstroi) and the UK Department for International Develop-ment (DFID) appointed these two consultancies again to help carry out the programme in Gagarin, Votkinsk, Cheboksary, Vologda and Pechora.

A Russian government and World Bank study concluded in 1996 that 50% to 70% of people living in Russian cities do not have access to safe drinking water. Since then, municipal water and wastewater enterprises have experienced increased difficulties due to the population shift from rural to urban centres.

The MSOIP is part of the US$ 167 million municipal water and wastewater project funded by the World Bank, DFID, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the Finnish Ministry of the Environ-ment. The project aims to help vodokanals become financially self-reliant providers of adequate and affordable water and wastewater services.

Mott MacDonald will project manage the two packages' development plans and manage inputs from international and local experts for various manuals and training materials. Its staff will assist in the preparation of procurement plans, cost estimates and an investment action plan. It will work with Severn Trent International to coordinate Swedish, Finnish and Russian consultants' activities and liase with all project stakeholders.

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