Illegal connections deny water firms Sh8.9bn annually

Kenya’s water service providers could be losing up to Sh8.9 billion annually due to leakages, illegal connections and poor management, a new report shows. FILE PHOTO | NMG Kenya’s water service providers could be losing up to Sh8.9 billion annually due to leakages, illegal connections and poor management, a new report shows.

Unbilled water is currently at 43 percent, way above acceptable benchmark of 20 percent, according to the report by Water Service Regulatory Board (Wasreb).

Out of the total 88 service providers assessed, Wasreb chief executive officer Robert Gakubia said only eight had their unbilled water within the acceptable range.

He noted that the 115 million cubic metres of water lost every year was adequate to serve Nairobi County with a daily demand of 750,000 cubic metres per day for five months.

“It is therefore evident that unbilled water starves the sector of the scarce resources which can be harnessed to significantly improve access levels,” he said.

In support of this fight, the regulator is developing an online system for anonymous reporting with the rallying call of Operation Okoa Maji,” he said.

He expressed confidence that the initiative will help to close the current service provision gap without the need to build new infrastructure or exploit new water sources, in the short to medium term.

The best performers were Nyeri, Meru, Muthambi 4K while Nithi, Kwale, Homa Bay, Sibo, Gusii, Kitui, Kirinyaga and Lamu were the worst.

The reports shows that non-sewerage coverage had to 17 percent from 19 percent 10 years ago. This is attributed to population increase as well as, the rapid urbanisation.

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