Water Quality Specialist – Nile Basin Initiative

Job Expired
Position: Water Quality Specialist
Service Type Project Position
Category: Regional
Organizational Unit: Nile Basin Initiative Secretariat, Entebbe, Uganda
Duty Station: Entebbe Uganda
Approx. Contract period: 1 September 2021 – 31 December 2023
Reports to: Deputy Executive Director/Head of the Basin-Wide Program and Water Resources Management


The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is a partnership of the 10 Nile Basin riparian states with a shared vision objective to promote sustainable socio-economic development through the equitable utilization of and benefit from the shared Nile Basin water resources. NBI has three programs, namely, the Basin-Wide Program implemented by the NBI Secretariat (NILE-SEC) located in Entebbe, Uganda, the Eastern Nile Subsidiary Action Program (ENSAP) implemented by the Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office (ENTRO) located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP) implemented by NELSAP Coordination Unit located in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Nile Basin’s ecosystems are of fundamental importance to the wellbeing of its 270 million inhabitants and comprise the backbone of national economies as they provide numerous socioeconomic benefits. Services provided by rivers, lakes, wetlands and other water-related ecosystems range from replenishing groundwater over controlling floods to providing fishery-based diets. In the Nile Basin, as in many other parts of the developing world, a great share of people directly depends on these services, i.e. they constitute most of their day-to-day subsistence and income. Environmental pollution causes habitat degradation which results in loss of capacity of ecosystems to generate these services thereby threatening millions of livelihoods and inhibiting economic growth.

Nile Basin countries continue to face challenges with their water quality data management programs. Some of these could be addressed within the framework of a basin wide water quality program. The challenges/ gaps include, (i) limited or non-existent national water quality or sediment monitoring programs, (ii) nonexistent stations for monitoring water quality at key hotspots or stations that are outdated and out of service due to lack of funding and personnel for operations, maintenance, and upgrades (including for equipment calibration), (iii) lack of adequate or modern data acquisition and management systems for receiving, processing, storing, disseminating, and transmitting water resources data and information, (iv) insufficient number and qualifications/training of staff for field measurement, field equipment maintenance, and data management system operation, (v) lack of demonstrated practices and procedures for transboundary sharing of operational water resources observations, among others.

Many of the challenges exhibit a transboundary character and addressing them challenges requires a coordinated approach with countries working together to identify risk areas and design and implement joint responses. It is within this context that a program is proposed for supporting riparian countries to cooperatively address the ever-increasing water quality and pollution control challenges in the basin.

The Nile-Sec is interested to hire a suitable qualified Water Quality Specialist to support the implementation of the project.


Project scope

The Nile Basin Initiative has received funds from World Bank through the Nile Cooperation for Climate Resilience (NCCR) project to cooperatively address the ever-increasing water quality and pollution control challenges in the basin. The program shall support improved water quality management at national and regional levels to address the growing threats of degradation of water resources. Specifically, the program shall (i) support member states to improve their water quality monitoring systems and ensure effective participation in the regional water quality program; (ii) improve availability of water quality data and information at national and regional levels; (iii) develop a Nile Basin water quality database that can support development of measures for addressing pollution and quality degradation at national and regional levels; (iv) prepare models assessing critical sections of the basins (hotspots) and providing critical information for designing intervention measures (v) prepare and disseminate information products aimed at improving awareness of countries on the water quality challenges in the basin and measures that can be taken to address them; (vi) improve capacity of key stakeholders with tools and models for designing/implementation of water quality interventions.

Overall scope of service

Based at the Nile-SEC headquarters in Entebbe, Uganda, the Water Quality Specialist will support implementation of the water quality programme in a dual role of technical expert and project management. The specialist shall ensure that water quality project is delivered to the standards of NBI. The specialist shall be responsible for ensuring that the project satisfies NBI’s obligations as implementing agency.

The Water Quality Specialist shall report to the Nile-SEC Deputy Executive Director/Head of the Basin-Wide Program and Water Resources Management or his designate for all of the Project’s substantive and administrative issues. The Water Quality Specialist will perform a liaison role with stakeholders including national governments, regional agencies, NGOs, CSOs and project partners, including NELSAP, ENTRO, and LVBC.


Key responsibilities

  • Technical execution of the project related duties
  1. Provide technical expertise and oversight in the execution of the project components related to water quality
  2. Coordinate the implementation of improvements to national water quality monitoring systems including installation of station water quality sensors, improvement of national water quality laboratories and standards as well as supplying them with field data kits. Support capacity building for national staff for sustainability of the investments.
  3. Provide technical support (advisory and backstopping support) to project partners (NELSAP, ENTRO, LVBC and NBD) in the implementation of their water quality components of the NCCR project
  4. Liaise with national point institutions in participating countries to source water quality data. Lead the development of a regional water quality database and its integration into the Nile Basin Integrated Knowledge Portal (IKP), a platform that provides a single, uniform and consistent access to all NBI knowledge resources with the aim of having ease of access to all NBI knowledge resources and thereby enhancing user experiences in finding data/information easily, avoiding problems of fragmented databases and enhancing streamlined workflow for data quality control, processing and posting, easy searching as well as providing data services (from external data sources). Working with consultant/s and country counterparts to feed data generated from new equipment into the database.
  5. Take leadership in implementation of the Nile Basin water quality capacity building program. The programe will be aimed at strengthening the ability to manage water quality and general water resources conservation activities at both the national and regional levels. This will address different stakeholders (decision makers, technicians, academics, and local authorities) and assist with sector-specific training for policy makers, researchers, and private sector. This component will cut across the whole Nile Basin water quality program and will aid the post-project sustainability of the work to support the water quality management and pollution control endeavors of countries
  6. Coordinate activities aimed at raising awareness the importance, values and benefits from investing in water quality monitoring/ management to protect the environment and support livelihood development in Nile Basin countries. The implementation of this task shall be an important aid to the overall implementation of national and regional action plans relating to water quality management and to guide the sub-regional policy development on water quality monitoring and pollution control.
  • Project management related duties
  1. Supervise and coordinate the work of staff, consultants and sub-contractors ensuring timing and quality of outputs.
  2. Plan the activities of the project and monitor progress against the approved work-plan.
  3. Develop terms of reference for and lead the procurement of consultants and service providers
  4. Coordinate all project inputs and ensure that they are adhere to World Bank procedures including safeguard requirements.
  5. Coordinate the recruitment and selection of consultants and sub-contracts, including drafting terms of reference and work specifications and overseeing all contractors’ work.
  6. Prepare, revise and submit project work and financial plans and make sure they are embedded in NBI Annual Work Plans.
  7. Monitor financial resources and accounting to ensure accuracy and reliability of financial reports, submitted on a quarterly basis.
  8. Manage and monitor the project risks initially identified and submit new risks to the project board for consideration and decision on possible actions if required; update the status of these risks by maintaining the project risks log.
  9. Liaise with relevant government agencies, and all project stakeholders for effective coordination of all project activities.
  10. Disseminate project reports and respond to queries from concerned stakeholders.
  11. Carry regular, inspections of all sites where activities will be implemented.

Qualifications and experience

  • A advanced university degree (Masters or PhD) in water quality management, water quality engineering, environmental management, natural resources management or closely related fields.
  • At least 10 years of experience (7 of which are post Masters) in water quality monitoring, water quality management, pollution control, or closely related fields;
  • At least 5 years of demonstrable project/programme management experience.
  • Experience in planning, design, and installation of water quality monitoring equipment (field equipment and laboratory equipment)
  • Experience implementing regional or transboundary projects shall be added advantage.


  • Strong leadership, managerial and coordination skills, with a demonstrated ability to effectively coordinate the implementation of large multi-stakeholder projects, including financial and technical aspects.
  • Ability to effectively manage technical and administrative teams, work with a wide range of stakeholders across various sectors and at all levels, to develop durable partnerships with collaborating agencies.
  • Ability to administer budgets, train and work effectively with counterpart staff at all levels and with all groups involved in the project.
  • Ability to coordinate and supervise multiple Project Implementation partners in their implementation of technical activities in partnership with a variety of subnational stakeholder groups, including community and government.
  • Strong drafting, presentation and reporting skills.
  • Strong communication skills, especially in timely and accurate responses to emails.
  • Strong computer skills, in particular mastery of all applications of the MS Office package and internet search.
  • Strong knowledge about the political and socio-economic context related to the Nile Basin.
  • Excellent command of English and local languages.

Implementation setup

The Water Quality Specialist shall be stationed at the Nile-Sec, Entebbe during the contract period, and work closely with water resources team under the overall operational supervision of the DED-HBWP/WRM of the Nile-Sec.

Duration/Period of Service

This is a Regional Position with an initial employment duration of one year with a six month probation period. The contract may be extended to 3 years renewable annually based on satisfactory performance, availability of funds and need for the services.

How to apply:

Interested and Suitably qualified individuals should submit their applications electronically to the Executive Director at: [email protected]. Application/cover letters clearly indicating the title of the position and accompanied by detailed curriculum vitae should reach the Executive Director not later than 17th September, 2021 at 2:00pm Local Time in Entebbe, Uganda). Please do not attach copies of your Academic & professional certificates and testimonials- these will be required during the interview period.

Your CV should and must clearly indicate full contacts of Three (3) referees and two (2) former employers excluding the current employer. Only short listed candidates will be contacted and women candidates are encouraged to apply.

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