Gambia Energy Restoration and Modernization Project (GERMP) – Additional Financing Terms of Reference for consultancy services to NAWEC on Non-Revenue Water (NRW) reduction plan

Gambia Energy Restoration and Modernization Project (GERMP) – Additional Financing

Terms of Reference for consultancy services to NAWEC on Non-Revenue Water (NRW) reduction plan


The Gambia is a fragile country that is in the process of a major political and economic transition following a 22-year long autocratic rule that left the country impoverished, highly indebted, and institutionally weak. In recent years, the Government of The Gambia (GoTG) has taken important steps to lay the foundations for democracy and set the country on a new development path. Responding to the need for climate change mitigation and adaptation, GoTG has developed the Gambia National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA), which provides a policy framework to address the impact of climate change at national and local levels. This Plan identifies the energy and water sectors as country priorities.

The National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) is the main provider of electricity, drinking water and sewerage services in the Gambia. While NAWEC has made significant gains in recent years on the electricity side of the business, water services have been struggling. While a restructuring exercise is underway to address NAWEC’s overall organizational, technical, and financial challenges, it is important to address the most pressing water services issues to complement this effort.

NAWEC provides water and sewerage services to urban areas and provinces with more than 100,000 residents. In urban areas, about 69 percent of the population has access to safely managed water, but the quality of services is poor due to frequent service outages, with some neighborhoods not receiving water for days, weeks or even months at a time. Investments in service expansion are not enough to meet growing demand, with urbanization growing at a rate of 4.5 percent a year. In addition, water quality is a challenge in terms of high levels of nitrates, iron, manganese and salinity in drinking water.

The main source of water resources in the Gambia is ground water. While the Gambia is endowed with ample water resources, the economic value of these resources is not fully exploited. NAWEC has drilled many boreholes in different areas of the country but most of them are not metered and some do not have the right size of meters, are outdated or damaged. Management of the water sector is somewhat fragmented. The Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources (MFWR) is responsible for the overall management of water resources as well as for rural water supply and sanitation services, while NAWEC is the public utility responsible for provision of water supply and sanitation services in urban areas and provincial centres.

World Bank Support to the Gambia

The Gambia Electricity Restoration and Modernization Project (GERMP) additional financing, in the amount of USD 43 million, was approved by the World Bank Board of Directors on 29 June 2020. This project, which expands the scope of the parent GERMP, aims to improve NAWEC’s operational performance for both electricity and water services and will fund important investments in water infrastructure that can help address the water crisis in NAWEC’s service area.

The GERMP Additional Financing will provide essential support to NAWEC to address some of these challenges. The project plans to strengthen the utility’s functioning through a service contract covering both electricity and water; the introduction of water drinking modules in the information management system (IMS); training; and strategic studies on sanitation. A separate component will strengthen NAWEC’s planning on non-revenue water reduction; install retail meters and district metered areas (DMAs); introduce energy efficiency measures; rehabilitate storage tanks; finance new water connections; and improve water quality at selected water treatment facilities. Moreover, considering the current coronavirus pandemic, the project will provide emergency support to NAWEC to purchase IT equipment for staff; supply water to unconnected areas through borehole drilling and tanker trucks; purchase needed spare parts and equipment to ensure continuity of service provision; provide handwashing and hygiene kits to the population; and implement hygiene campaigns.
Addressing the Challenge of Non-Revenue Water (NRW)

The current NRW rate is estimated to be between 35% to 45% but this rate is very uncertain as NAWEC does not have a systematic way of measuring apparent and physical losses in its coverage zone. NAWEC does not have an NRW department or unit in its organizational structure. The leakages in the network are compromising the confidence that communities, regulatory officials, and the media place in NAWEC.

There are five main water treatments plants in the country. The treatment plants in the GBA are in a closed network with isolation valves in between the served areas of the network, supposed to help operations during peak periods. In addition, there are master meters serving as inlets and outlets to the treatment plants. Most of these meters are not operating, making the management of the water business challenging for the company without proper data acquisition and analysis.

Objective of recruiting a consulting firm.

The objective of this assignment is to help NAWEC develop its knowledge base on NRW and develop a plan for reducing NRW in its service area, with a focus on GBA. The firm to be recruited will provide continuous technical assistance (TA) to NAWEC and will produce several key services and products that should place NAWEC on a solid path to tackling its NRW. As much as possible, the firm should work closely with NAWEC staff as well as local engineers and technicians, to transfer knowledge and build capacity on NRW.

Scope of work of the consulting firm

The scope of work includes but is not limited to the following tasks:

Task 1: Situational Assessment (6 months)

The consulting firm will do an initial assessment of the NAWEC water business to develop a preliminary assessment of the dimensions of NAWEC’s NRW challenge. In so doing, the consulting firm should engage in extensive discussions with stakeholders, review existing data and studies, and draw on its knowledge of NRW trends around the world to place NAWEC’s situation into context.


Specifically, the firm will deliver the following.

  1. Institutional and Policy Framework

The goal of this task is to understand the enabling environment for the NRW activity.

Key activities include, but are not limited to, the following:


  • Review previous water supply and NRW studies, policies, rules, and regulations where available.
  • Assess the appetite of NAWEC management and staff, policy makers and other key constituents (e.g., the regulator) to address NRW.
  • Undertake a review of national and local laws which govern water supply in the Gambia. This review should include asset standards and review these versus international standards. Document the potential impact of these standards on the NRW tasks detailed in these TORs.
  • Review the current organizational structure for dealing with NRW in terms of staffing, budget, and operational set-up (assets, equipment etc). Complete a skills review of engineering and technical staff at NAWEC regarding water operations and NRW. Clearly outline the strengths and identify gaps.
  • Review NAWEC procurement and supply chain arrangements with an eye to the equipment needed for successful NRW projects – document risks and identify solutions.
  • Review NAWEC asset management information including mapping of pipe infrastructure, understanding of pipe materials and specifications of meters
  • Document the impact of the current situation of water losses and commercial inefficiencies and their impact on customers, NAWEC partners, and NAWEC itself. Parameters to consider include:
    • health impacts of unreliable water supply for households
    • impact on businesses and hence the impact on the Gambian economy
    • coping costs of securing alternative supplies
    • morale within NAWEC resulting from these issues.
    • accelerated degradation of the pipes due to intermittent supply; (the cumulative effect of this on pipe asset life should be identified)
    • public/ government perception of NAWEC and impact on its “brand”.

The above parameters are indicative – the consultant is encouraged to consider other parameters as appropriate.


  1. Field Assessment

The goal of this task is for the consultant to start activities that aim to improve data accuracy and get an initial indication of priorities for NRW reduction. Extensive field work is expected to collect the raw data to approximate the baseline situation of physical losses. A key aspect of this work will be identifying core NAWEC staff with operational knowledge and experience who should become focal points in this work with the consultant.


Key activities include, but are not limited to, the following:


  1. bi) Technical Information
  • Verify network diagrams, specifications, and condition data. Review information on network monitoring equipment (flow and pressure data).
  • Describe the current water production facilities including information on volume of water produced (m3/day and m3/year) and type of energy used (gravity/ pumped). Include information on the cost of producing drinking water at NAWEC.
  • Assess the plants inlet and outlet flow meters including type, size, installation, data transfer, chamber dimension and distance to any main fitting. Assess any other relevant meter information.
  • Assess the state of the distribution infrastructure and related assets and equipment. Assess the quality, material, length, and age of the network. Field visits and photographic evidence will be needed.
  • Collect data on actual pressure and flow in the network and set points at production locations. Pressure and flow should be logged over several weeks to understand the pressure profile and link with water production and operation of the network.
  • Determine the reservoirs in the network and the modalities for operating and maintaining them.
  • Assess the reservoirs inlet and outlet flow meters including type, size, installation, data transfer, chamber dimension and distance to any main fitting, as well as any other relevant information.
  • Review the leak detection equipment in the utility, if any, and make recommendations for the procurement of the most appropriate equipment to reduce water leakages.
  • Evaluate leakage repair data and determine the annual number of leaks repaired, differentiating them between leaks on service connections and main pipes, both for reported leaks and those identified by leak detection teams.
  • Evaluate any unauthorized consumption, including an estimation of the number of connections and volume consumed.
  • Examine pipeline replacement records as well as existing pipeline replacement plans.
  • Assess the availability of water supply against forecast demand and identify core system constraints.
  • Analyze what measures, if any, are in place for asset maintenance and provide recommendations as appropriate.

Task 2: Baseline Data and Summary report (6 months)

Drawing on the information collected from the preceding tasks, the consultant will prepare a detailed baseline and summary report of the NRW situation in NAWEC’s coverage zone. The report must include the following:


  • An International Water Association water balance of the performance for each of the NAWEC water treatments plants and standalone systems.
  • Estimate potential water demand savings through the implementation of an NRW (real losses) program involving leakage detection and pressure management across the following water balance categories:
    • Current annual real losses (CARL)
    • Unavoidable annual real losses (UARL)
    • Customer (post meter) usage
    • Estimate likely burst reductions and associated cost savings.
  • Review NRW (apparent losses) and consider:
    • Using IWA Water Balance tools and best practice methodologies, develop an estimation of NRW (apparent losses) due to:
      • inefficiencies in the billing process
      • unbilled authorized consumption and total volume of such consumption
      • unauthorized consumption and the annual volume of such consumption


  • The NAWEC water meter fleet. The report should review meter coverage, meter accuracy, and assess strategies to avoid apparent losses and minimize revenue losses for
  • A review of water metering for business and commercial customers to ensure that NAWEC is appropriately billing for water consumed by these high value customers.
  • A review of metered standpipe arrangements and identification of appropriate future policies and strategies.
  • Key indicators of NRW/ overview of headline NRW (real and apparent losses) figures. This information can be presented in an Excel spreadsheet or another format that is easy to follow.
  • Results of testing in pilot DMAs and analysis/ interpretation of results
  • Results of field tests on each of the aspects of the water balance such as: source meter accuracy, customer meter accuracy, illegal connections, household consumption patterns, nighttime consumption, night flow and pressure etc.
  • Results of bottom-up pressure leakage and time leakage field tests to identify what will happen when changes are made to time of supply or operating pressure or both calculations of improved estimations of the system input and output volumes.
  • Recommendations /guidance to NAWEC on improving network plans, updating customer information, leakage management, pressure optimization and any other improvements that are deemed necessary to monitor losses in these DMAs.


Task 3: Development and Installation of DMAs (18 months)

NAWEC currently has virtual DMAs that are not yet represented on a map or used during operations. Moreover, there is no identification of inlets and outlets master meters to monitor water losses. The night flow of these zones is also not monitored.

The consultant should assess the distribution network and advise on the demarcation of the network into functional DMAs in close consultation with NAWEC staff. NAWEC shall provide data if available otherwise the consultant will be responsible to establish this data.

In order to develop a solid baseline on NRW, the Consultant will be required to do the following:

  • Conduct an assessment to map the network and the assets to improve data collection, data management and analysis with the aim to improve operational efficiency.
  • Divide the served areas into hydraulic zones and identify the inlets and outlets of DMAs.
  • Determine the equipment to be used in the network such as leak detection loggers, antennas for communication and equipment for pressure optimization. Draw up technical specifications for this equipment.
  • A ranking of the hydraulic zones and DMAs in terms of priority for implementation, with justifications provided.
  • Assess the status of existing bulk water meters including age, sizing, block/faulty, duplicated accounts, and other issues in the meter park etc
  • Draw up recommendations on the needs for rehabilitating or replacing aging water infrastructure (pipe networks, network control valves, fire hydrants and air valves)

Task 4: NRW Plan and Options (6 months)

Drawing on the previous tasks, the Consultant should develop an effective NRW reduction plan (both real and apparent losses) that can guide NAWEC and its partners on practical actions to take to reduce NRW and sustain those gains. The plan should include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Development of a NRW Strategy (real and apparent losses) for NAWEC. The strategy should document an agreed program of activities which should be implemented. The strategy documents will include:
  • Detailed Project Plan (Gantt Chart) and Resourcing Plan for the Implementation of an agreed NRW (real and apparent losses) Program
  • District Meter Design (DMA Maps) for the implementation of an agreed NRW (real loss) intervention, including
    • Suitable DMA split up of the network,
    • Appropriate metering required to implement water loss projects,
    • Logging and monitoring points throughout the network to ensure standards of service are secured,
    • Pressure management opportunities.
  • Procurement plan and draft tender documents

Specific documents shall be prepared by the consulting firm in collaboration with the PIU/NAWEC to include the needs of the client:

  • bills of quantities
  • technical specifications
  • technical designs
  • project cost estimates
  • preparation of technical elements of the draft RFQ/RFP and draft contract


  • Project Risk Register for each agreed NRW (real and apparent losses) intervention
  • Analysis of different options and contractual modalities for delivering the program of NRW management (both real and apparent losses). Options could include, but are not limited to:
    • performance-based contract with a private operator,
    • small-scale contracts with contractors or consultants to address stand-alone elements such as metering or billing,
    • in-house civil works done by NAWEC, or
    • some other modalities with or without the private sector.
  • Appraise the financial dimensions of different NRW options. The consultants will cost out the NRW-Reduction Program (real and apparent losses) and conduct an appraisal cost-benefit analysis and payback of the proposed NRW-Reduction Program (real and apparent losses)
  • Identification of the key performance indicators (quantitative) and best practices (qualitative) to be used by NAWEC in ongoing NRW management. (target setting should happen at a utility scale, at a treatment plant scale and at a district meter scale)
  • An assessment of the key strengths and risks that will hinder a successful NRW reduction program.
  • An overview of the capacity needs within NAWEC and how to meet them e.g., through new hires, external expertise, staff training etc. Propose changes to the organizational setup that could allow for a successful NRW reduction program
  • A preliminary assessment of the viewpoints and capacity of various stakeholders to support both the NRW reduction program and their willingness to work with the private sector (if this option is recommended)
  • NRW training program for NAWEC technical staff with the aim of improving technical know-how and continue the management of NRW over the long term.

Task 5: Training of NAWEC Staff (continuous, over the course of 24 months)

  • Drawing on the skills assessment conducted under Task 1, develop a set of learning and development goals for team members to support the implementation of the NRW Program (real and apparent losses)
  • Working with the Corporate Services Team in NAWEC, embed these learning and development goals into the NAWEC Staff Performance Management system.
  • Develop a series of training materials and courses to match the learning needs of the NAWEC Team. The courses should incorporate learning materials (such as lectures, written course notes, practical exercises and testing material) to assist different learning types.
  • Organize a series of seminars, workshops and infield training activities to sensitize and inform NAWEC technical staff on various dimensions of NRW (real and apparent). As an indicative number, 12 seminars a year should be the basis for planning. However, the exact number of workshops, topics and level of effort will be determined to align with the NRW Strategy and the assessed needs of NAWEC staff.
  • Provide NAWEC staff with publications, written materials, data, digital content and other resources to help enhance their knowledge on NRW.
  • Provide training on specialized software as needed and as appropriate.
  • Develop a system e.g., Share Point for documenting, sharing and archiving information with the NAWEC team

Required qualifications and experience:

  1. Experience of a firm:
  • Providing advisory in the area of urban water services management (being a core business) for at least 7 years.
  • At least 2 similar contracts for the last 7 years, each of such contracts shall include at least two of the following key activities:
  • Water Audit to determine physical and apparent losses
  • District metered area (DMA) management including hydraulic analysis of water distribution system and meter replacement plan
  • Data collection and analysis for water business
  • Experience with similar assignments in Sub-Saharan Africa will be an additional advantage.


  1. The Core Team of the consulting firm will have the following qualifications:
  • Team Leader: An experienced water engineer with a Civil Engineering degree or equivalent professional qualification in relevant discipline of engineering with at least 10 years urban water services management, service delivery improvement and program design/delivery, in developing countries, experience. Experience in coordinating across multi-disciplinary stakeholders, facilitation and communication skills are needed. Global experience of work in urban water utilities specially in NRW area in developing countries is strongly preferred.
  • NRW Specialist: A seasoned water professional with a relevant university degree and a strong and proven experience (at least 10 years) in NRW and leakage detection/reduction program design and implementation in water utilities. Experience in developing country contexts is strongly preferred.
  • Commercial Specialist: An experienced professional with a relevant university degree with a background in accounting, customer service, IT or a related field with at least 5-years’ experience in utility billing, revenue management, metering and managing customer databases. Experience in developing country contexts is strongly preferred.
  • Legal/ Institutional Specialist: An experienced professional with a relevant university degree and at least 5-years’ experience of working with water utilities to strengthen their technical and organizational functioning. Experience in capacity building, change management and stakeholder engagement would be important. Ability to advise on the institutional and legal feasibility of recommended actions is needed. Experience in developing country contexts is strongly preferred.
  • Research and Data Management Specialist: The team should include a focal point who will be responsible for managing data generated from the assignment, including developing the NRW database, producing progress reports, and preparing the final study. Strong research capabilities and excellent technical writing skills are required. The expert shall have a relevant university degree and 5 years of relevant experience.

Additional Information

  • The contract will be for a Firm, that will report to the PIU Coordinator of NAWEC in Banjul, The Gambia.
  • Selection of the Consultants will be conducted in accordance with the Consultants Quality and Cost-Based Selection (QCBS) method of selection, as outlined in the World Bank Procurement Regulations.
  • The selected firm must mobilize staff to be stationed for a significant time in Banjul, Gambia, during the duration of the field assessment and agreed periodic field visits during implementation.
  • The successful candidate will sign a lump-sum contract.


Assignment/Contract duration

The estimated start date is January 2022, and the contract duration is for 2.5 years. The estimated efforts is 23 staff months.