Hydro-Utilities Consulting Engineers in collaboration with Castalia – Strategic Advisors (Lead Consultant) were appointed by the World Bank in July 2014 to carry out a needs assessment study for 50 small water supply stations in small towns across Zimbabwe that are operated and managed by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA). Hydro-Utilities, under this appointment, were assigned the Local Team Leader role to lead and manage a team of experts comprising mechanical, electrical, water, civil and process engineers. This team also included an Environmental and Social safeguards expert covering aspects of environment and social concerns for priority projects that the team were assigned to look into. Hydro-Utilities teamed up with Lamont Consulting Engineers who provided the mechanical and electrical engineers.
Hydro-Utilities began the study mid-July 2014 after an Inception meeting with the ZINWA senior management and officials from the World Bank Water & Sanitation division. The exercise began with field visits to all the 50 water supply stations managed by ZINWA and is expected to be completed at the end of October 2014. These 50 stations were selected to represent all seven catchment councils managed by ZINWA.
The study also included assisting ZINWA to prepare 7 priority projects (one project for each catchment) for submission of bid documentation to enable ZINWA to take these projects for tender. Hydro-Utilities facilitated a series of meetings and workshops with ZINWA catchment managers, technicians and engineers to guide them in producing tender drawings, specifications and bills of quantities up to World Bank standard and format.
The Zimbabwe Small Towns Water Supply Project in summary includes the following components (i) investment for repair, rehabilitation and expansion, (ii) institutional strengthening of ZINWA as an autonomous water utility and for project implementation, (provided for by Castalia), (iii) understanding the capacity of local authorities to contract with service providers and oversee development of their water supply systems, and (i) exploring options to leverage available financing. Training needs were also identified during the field visits. The Hydro-Utilities local team was led by Eng. Thami Mpala, a Water Engineer and a Partner at Hydro-Utilities.
WHY HYDRO-UTILITIES IS EMBRACING CORPORATE BUSINESS ETHICS:
It is the correct way to conduct business
It brings out confidence within staff
It allows us to be competitive in the market
It encourages high performance & quality of work
It stimulates growth
It brings success and profitability in the long term
The Editor, 15 May 2015.
A renewed emphasis is being placed on company reputation and ethics. Organisations with a good reputation are more competitive as customers develop more trust in them and their products, as they draw the best and competent employees. There is also enough evidence to show that unethical practices, such as fraud, corruption and dishonesty, harm a company’s reputation. One tends to think of a number of large companies in Zimbabwe where fraud and corruption cases have been prevalent and how they, their customers and employees have been affected by the negative publicity. Smart, high-involvement and so called “high-road” organisations take care of their reputation because they realise it makes them more competitive and successful. Smart employees want to work for smart companies. A company with an excellent reputation not only has a better image in the market, but also attracts and retains better
Walking the path’ of sound ethical business practice not only gives an edge in today’s’ highly competitive global market place, but also helps to shape employee behavior giving them the confidence they need to discharge their duties efficiently and effectively. Core values for good business ethics include; commitment & passion to make a difference, healthy corporate culture, honesty and trust, sound strategies and vision, and strong leadership. The top five drivers of business ethics are corporate scandals, market place competition, investor demands, customer pressure and globalization. The real function of an ethics program is to promote professionals to do the right things efficiently, with purpose and be successful. Professional bodies stand in a unique position in the community and lead by example. They possess skills and qualities that nobody else has; they speak a specialist language; they are successful and stand out head and shoulders above the rest. More so, in a society like ours currently in Zimbabwe where fraud and corruption are rife; conducting business ethically makes people stand up and take notice. Small change leads to big change, and sooner we have a society and community doing the right things in the right way and contributing to a successful country.
Hydro-Utilities’ corporate governance charter underscores the propagation of sound business ethics at all staff levels and across its business operations, as the foundation upon which good governance and increased success can be realized. With Board endorsement, the firm is now in the process of developing its own ‘staff-driven’ Code of Ethics that will guide company share-holders, Directors, senior management and staff on All matters of importance, including shaping acceptable workplace behavior and taking care of stakeholder needs.
To date, the firm’s Directors have undertaken our Ethical Leadership Development Programme (ELDP) training, and all staff have gone through a series of training workshops meant to equip them with ethical skills that will help them resolve ethical dilemmas inherent in theworkplace and engage in ethical decision making. The visionary leadership at Hydro-Utilities is indeed reading the global marketplace accurately, and, so do understand that successful firms of the future will be measured more on their sustainability templates and their contribution towards improving the livelihoods of the people, besides growing shareholder value” – Bradwell Mhonderwa.
Hydro-Utilities are proud to announce the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Gemini GIS and Environmental Services. Gemini are a GIS and Environmental Management services firm based in Johannesburg, South Africa, with more than 25 years’ experience in environmental management, geographic information systems and remote sensing. This MoU seeks to foster working partnerships between the two firms and collaborate in the areas of infrastructure development through the provision of skills and expertise in the civil and structural engineering, environmental and GIS fields in the region.
Hydro-Utilities met with Gemini at the recently held B2B Meetings in March 2016 at the Rainbow Towers in Harare. In these meetings, an understanding was reached between both parties and an agreement reached for the need to develop partnerships across the border to harness skills and expertise to meet the demands of high quality infrastructural project execution.
The Managing Director of Gemini, Mrs. Andiswa Silingaexpressed her delight at this development; “We are glad to partner and associate with Hydro-Utilities Consulting Engineers and we believe having such an experienced partner in the region would allow for competitive bidding, procurement and successful implementation of engineering and environmental schemes”.
We look forward to this partnership bearing fruit and growing from strength to strength as we bring together our skills for the enhancement of development in our region.
Eng. Thami Mpala, our Managing Director at Hydro-Utilities Consulting Engineers, was recently elected the new Chairman for the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers – Mashonaland Province. The Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers aims to promote the awareness and participation of engineers and the engineering practice for the development of infrastructure in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers (ZIE) Mashonaland Area Committee held their Annual General Meeting at Conquenar House on the 1st of April 2016. This AGM marked the end office of the 2014-2016 Committee and the beginning of a new term of office of the newly elected committee. The new committee were elected into office through a voting pollconducted by members of the Mashonaland Area present at the AGM and also includedvotes that were cast by email prior to the meeting. The new committee will serve for a period of two years in office beginning 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2018.
Incoming Chairman for the Mashonaland Area Committee, Eng. Thami Mpala – “It is a great honour to take on the baton from the good work carried out by the previous committee and the immediate past Chairman, Eng. Mhuka and carry it forward to even greater expectations. The Mashonaland Area since its relaunch in July 2014 has endeavoured to focus on greater participation in the community to promote the awareness of the contribution of engineers in society. The need for engineers to be visible and play an effective role in both the representation of practising engineers in the country and the awareness and appreciation from the public of the engineers’ role in the development of Zimbabwe cannot be overemphasized. It is my hope and mission that the next two years will see an active participation of engineers in the area through various activities and events set to promote the profession and attract corporate support.
I thank the past committee and the outgoing Chairman, and I also extend my gratitude to the tireless work that the ZIE Secretariat have done over the years for the committee and for the institution at large. I look forward to a great tenure and an increased effort and energy to see to the success of the area. Together we will succeed and conquer. I thank you”