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On Wednesday in preparation for our trip to Kenya, we visited the water user association (WUA) Suoni in Mäntsälä, Finland . We had a fruitful interview with the chair and vice chair that eagerly shared their experience of over 20 years of involvement in the WUA. They shared the history of the utility that was started in 1996 due to a drought and local water quality issues. Yes! you heard me “drought” even in Finland, the land of a thousand lakes, we can suffer from seasonal droughts and water quality issues.

The utility started originally by supplying potable water to about 50 members and now has expanded to serve over 600 members with water and sewer networks. Suoni has performed well in their business management operation of the network but not all WUAs in Finland are at the same level. We could tell that there has been considerable dedication, time and effort put behind the success of the utility.

Overall the message from Suoni was very positive and encouraging. I believe they are cheering on all other WUAs striving towards improved operations and management.

Thank you Suoni! Next we are looking forward to our visits of Kenyan WUAs.

Esra

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