A concrete improvement plan brings dividends to small water suppliers

Photograph of a woman outsideTindinyo Water Scheme which serves rough 7,800 people is growing from strength to strength courtesy of the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) which has been their roadmap. Happy customers mean more revenue for the Scheme. The hilly and rocky village of Tindinyo in the border of Kakamega and Nandi County sits Tindinyo Water Supply Scheme. It was started in the year 2010 built by the Lake Victoria North Services Board and is under the management of the Kakamega County Water and Sanitation Company (KACWASCO).

The Scheme’s Manager Valentine narrates the state of affairs at Tindinyo Water before and after KIWASH’s intervention. “We experienced numerous challenges as a Scheme before KIWASH’s support came our way. Uncollected debts, high non-revenue water (NRW), staff indiscipline cases and lack of consolidated customer data were crippling our operations,” says Valentine. In 2018, KIWASH supported the Scheme to develop a PIP to guide them on among other things; improved ways of revenue collection, reduction of NRW, improving customer relations and general efficiency within the water scheme.

“The initiative to develop the PIP has been one of the best support we have received from KIWASH. Our revenue has increased from a monthly average of KES 150,000 to KES 350,000,” Valentines says. The Scheme has since adopted the use of different chemicals for water treatment which also happen to support the growth of alga. They harvest this as sludge and plan to start selling it to farmers as manure; as part of their extra income generating activity.  

“Any new connection now has to be accompanied by a meter. We have scraped off flat rates and this has greatly boosted our revenue. As a result, our metering ratio has increased from 80 percent to 97 percent,” Valentines. Guided by the PIP, the Scheme has also introduced cashless payments and smart meter reading. “Our staff no longer handle cash which has helped curb corruption cases. The smart meter reading has also helped eliminate instances where meter readers would never do the actual reading but shared estimates.” He says.

That is why we have also introduced a customer care number which they use for complains, enquiries and even reporting bursts, leaks and other cases. As a result, our NRW has reduced from 50 percent to 38 percent. Our response time to customer complains has also reduced to less than 24 hours.” Valentines concludes.

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