With good planning, water companies can prosper

Children accompany their parents to collect water from a newly installed water point. What do you get when you mix a company with a small customer base, low revenues, a leaky and costly supply chain and a lack of funding? Usually, this is a recipe for the end to any enterprise. But in Kenya, this is too often what water utilities face on a daily basis.

KIWASH is working with these companies to try to reverse this pattern and turn water utilities into growing, prosperous companies. One of the most important tools we use is the strategic plan. While this may not sound very exciting, the process of developing these plans can be transformative for a water service provider.

For example, one of the first steps in developing a strategic plan is to take a baseline assessment of revenues, customers and water use. More often than not, this step reveals that the water utilities are losing money through non-revenue water, which is the difference between the volume of water pumped and what is sold to customers. It might include unbilled or unmetered consumption, illegal consumption, metering inaccuracies, or leakage in distribution pipelines, service connections or storage infrastructure. This helps the company understand where they are losing water – and from there they can take steps to reduce these losses and improve service for customers.

The strategic plans are also key in finding sources of funding for the utilities to improve services and expand coverage. For instance, in Kitui and Makueni counties, five water utilities have developed comprehensive investment strategies that they are now preparing to present to their county governments, development partners and other potential investors.

And in Kakamega County, KIWASH supported the county water and sanitation company to develop an investment proposal for KES 120 million to connect 6,000 households to new and improved water and sanitation services in Mumias town. So far, the county government has provided an equity contribution of KES 23 million, and the company will seek commercial financing of up to KES 97 million with local commercial banks.

In total KIWASH has supported 13 water utilities in the development of strategic plans, including three in 2018 alone. These plans, coupled with capacity development and improved corporate governance, have helped to build a strong foundation upon which the water utilities can grow.

Effective water services and the safe disposal of wastewater are essential for the health and prosperity of a country. Thanks to the efforts of KIWASH, now 13 utilities have the knowledge, capacity, and an achievable roadmap to help guide and transform them into healthy and expanding companies that are increasing access to clean and reliable water for more Kenyans.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

Kiwash Blog

Daniel Mbone, a resident of Ulu Market on the border of Kajiado and Makueni counties, remembers when there were fights in the town over water....
Beatrice Adhiambo  the first Manager at Migori Water Scheme Chris Muturi-USAID KIWASH-1
When Beatrice Adhiambo was promoted to manager of Migori Water Scheme in 2020, she became the first female manager at the company, which is part...
6-year-old Cliff Gege enjoying a glass of clean water under a tree in their homestead. Their home is served through KIWASH supported West Uyoma Water Project in Siaya Countyvvv.  Chris Muturi KIWASH
As the dark rain clouds gathered in early March 2020, Ann, a resident of the lakeshore village of Osieko Nambo in Siaya County, Kenya –...

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Contact Us

Mobile: +254 790 999 072
Mobile: +254 780 999 070
Email: [email protected]

Address: UN Crescent, Gigiri
P.O Box 1863 - 00621
Nairobi, Kenya

The Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Project (KIWASH) - Nairobi, Kenya - [email protected]. This website is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID.) The information provided on this Web site is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government. For more information review our Privacy Policy and Disclaimer. This website contains cookies like quantcast and chartbeat. They allow NationBuilder to monitor user activity in order to make improvements to the website. Involuntary personal information is not gathered or shared. Users can disable these cookies to prevent tracking user activity.