Trained water operators making a huge difference

Photograph of three men reviewing a documentThe Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (KIWASH) Project has been at the forefront of enhancing water sector reforms in many parts of Kenya. This has been mainly through technical assistance that include capacity building and rehabilitation of infrastructures. These training target employees of water utilities and members of community based water enterprises.

One such county is Siaya in western Kenya region. “Efficient water utilities aligns with one of the top priorities of the Siaya County Government which is to supply clean, safe and reliable water to most of the residents over the next five years. As a result, the government has increased the water budget to KES 390 million,” explains Henry Juma the Acting Director of Water.

As part of close collaboration with the County Government, KIWASH contributed in developing the water component of the County Integrated Development Plan 2018-2022. A Water Bill has also been presented before the County Assembly for discussion.

Capacity building training cover, Financial Management, Governance, Operations and Maintenance, Gender Mainstreaming, and Customer Care.  “These skills learnt by community project management committees ensure that the projects remain sustainable now and into the future,” said the Director. In terms of rehabilitating water infrastructure, KIWASH has supported Osieko Nambo Project revamp its operations. A six kilometer water pipeline, a 150,000 litre tank, an automated chlorine doser and solar panels were provided. Through this, the water project is able to serve a population of about 24,000 people who depend on water from Lake Victoria.

It is from trained personnel and well maintained water infrastructure that the County has seen improvements thanks to KIWASH’s intervention. The Siaya Bondo Water and Sanitation Company has already noticed double revenue within a period of six months. “We recorded a revenue collection of KES 5 million in September up from KES 2.7 million. This can be attributed to attitude change, professionalism and good customer care to their over 400,000 customers.” Says George Alaka the Director of SIBOWASCO.

The transformation of this utility also entailed a benchmarking with the Eldoret Water and Sanitation Company. SIBOWASCO is now looking forward to scaling its coverage and reducing non-revenue water. “We are honored to have partners such as KIWASH that are helping us roll out our activities and look forward to reaching more as we roll out the 5-year strategic plan,” concludes Henry.

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