The improvement of urban water services is a top priority of the Afghanistan Government. Of the 38 urban centres (34 provincial capitals and 4 other towns), only some 14 had established water systems operated and administered by the Central Authority for Water Supply and Sewerage (CAWSS) at the start of this project. The local supply organisations, which were still subordinate branches of CAWSS, were not able to operate the systems appropriately and lacked the capacity to develop their local infrastructure to meet needs. With an average 20%, the number of households having access to piped water connections was generally very low.
As part of the reform of the urban water sector, CAWSS was to be corporatised and renamed Afghanistan Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Corporation (AUWSSC). AUWSSC was to be the main holding organisation; the operating entities in the cities were to become strategic business units of AUWSSC to perform in accordance with Memoranda of Understanding to be concluded with AUWSSC.
The project was carried out in close cooperation with German Financial Cooperation that supported infrastructure rehabilitation and extension in the three cities.