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Kenya loses Sh11 bi*lion annually due to water theft

Wednesday, February 16th, 2022 03:19 | By

The water sector in the country loses an estimated Sh11 billion due to water leakages and theft, while the remaining 50 percent is costly and inaccessible to ordinary Kenyans.

Stakeholders in the sector yesterday expressed concerned that imminent change of guard in government with the forthcoming general election will further erode some of the gains made since the Water Act came into force in 2002 and reviewed in 2016.

Now, the Ministry of Water; affiliated agencies and other stakeholders are pegging hope in a new water governance training handbook to safeguard these gains.

Water Chief Administrative Secretary, Andrew Tuimur said, if well implemented, the contents of the guidebook will help plug the gaps.

“As you are aware, the ministry is implementing water and sanitation projects all over the country to increase the coverage to 80 percent for water and 40 percent for sewerage, a key component in the guidebook, by the end of this year,” he said noting this will ensure more Kenyans are adequately served.

However, he noted that there is challenge in the gap between the available financial resources for the sector against the investment requirements, which remain huge even as the ministry works towards curbing water losses.

“Smart Water metres is the way to go to curb water losses of up to between 47 and 50 percent,” he said.

Water Secrertary, Samuel Alima said at 452 cubic metres per person per annum against 1000 cubic metres per person per annum, Kenya is a water scarce country, and cannot afford to lose any more water.

“The demand for water is higher than the water resources we have can produce, therefore finding a way of reducing the losses is urgent,” he added.

Kenya, he revealed is adopting the smart metering now and will be installed at all the abstraction points and at the community in order to know where the water is going to.

“It is a huge investment which has already started with pilots in Malindi, Nairobi and Eldoret. However, it is going to be our lifestyle in the handling of water services and resources,” Alima said.

Because of lack of knowledge of what is in the rivers, currently, the ministry allocates so much water than it is available, the reason smart water metres are vital at this moment.

“These gadgets are also going to assist us in the payment of bills so that we pay the right bills as opposed to exaggerated bills, and with them in place, it will be possible for us to know where we are losing water because we will be registering what's coming in and out of the system,” he noted.

On his part, Eng. Peter Njaggah, the director in charge of , Standards and Advocacy at the Water Services Regulatory Board (WADSREB), the guidebook will address the corruption in the water sector, where water is stolen.

He noted that despite scarcity of water in the country, the one produced at source and what's finally accounted for is 50 percent, and the one lost averages Sh11 billion per year.

“A little bit of leakage and theft, which comes in the way of billing, accounting and the water guidebook that we have launched today will sort that out,” he said.

He said the Board will escalate a campaign to have a mass pool of people who understand that non-revenue water reduction is costly.

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