Programme Co-lead: 2019
Data for Water and Sanitation Infrastructure (Data4WASI) was conceptualised to address the critical state of South Africa’s water and sanitation services. Municipalities have been facing severe challenges in delivering infrastructure and associated services that meet their residents’ needs. The reasons are complex and include a shortage of skilled technical professionals such as engineers and project managers, difficult work environments and poor data capturing practices. Very few municipalities collect the data necessary for effective operations, maintenance and planning of infrastructure.
Data4WASI is a student internship programme that has been designed to assist local government with collecting and updating data required for successful management of water and sanitation infrastructure assets. The programme exposes students to the technology, complex systems, software tools and challenges that local government uses and encounters on a daily basis to deliver critical infrastructure and services to the people of South Africa. The programme was developed in collaboartion with the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency and has a direct impact on data management for Water Service Authorities in rural and distressed municipalities.
After its initial pilot, the programme has been incorporated into Engineers Without Borders South Africa as Data for Municipal Infrastructure Assets (Data4MIA).