KMT Water Case Study
A Transformative Approach to Accelerating Access to Safe Drinking Water for Low-Income Areas
Kenya’s access to safe drinking water stands at 59 per cent according to a WASH monitoring report by UNICEF and WHO, leaving out about 19 million people without access to safe drinking water. This challenge is compounded by rapid urbanisation and burgeoning population growth which has led to mushrooming of overcrowded and impoverished informal settlements with limited infrastructure.
These informal settlements are characterised by an increase in poverty rates, inadequate access to essential services such as safe drinking water, and significant inequalities. Largely, the urban towns are served by regulated Water Services Providers (WSPs) which have a limited focus on Low-Income Areas (LIAs).
By 2025, 65 per cent of Kenya’s urban and peri-urban population is projected to live in informal settlement areas representing the urban poor. This will result in increased demand for water services for WSPs that are already overstretched.
To address the constraint of unreliable quantity and quality of water supply to the poor, KMT partnered with Water and Sanitation for Urban Poor (WSUP), Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB), Water Services Trust Fund (WSTF), County Governments, WASH stakeholders and six Water Service Providers (WSPs), namely;
- Nakuru Water and Sanitation Services Company (NAWASSCO),
- Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company Limited (KIWASCO),
- Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC),
- Mombasa Water Supply and Sanitation Company Limited (MOWASSCO),
- Malindi Water and Sewerage Company Limited (MAWASCO), and
- Naivasha Water Sewerage and Sanitation Company (NAIVAWASS)
This partnership aimed to develop and implement an intervention with broader objectives in;
- Emergence and adoption of a service delivery model for water utilities,
- Market-led approach for pro-poor services expansion, addressing Non-Revenue Water (NRW) management in water utilities and business-to-business (B2B) linkages for climate-smart, ICT, green financing and technological innovation.
- At the apex level, KMT facilitated the national water regulator in the development of a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) framework aimed at increasing reliability and access to water utility services in Low-Income Areas (LIAs).
- KMT facilitated five counties (Mombasa, Kisumu, Kilifi, Nakuru and Nairobi) in the development and adoption of pro-bottom-of-the-pyramid policies and laws for increased investment toward pro-poor water access
- KMT facilitated the six WSPs to establish and strengthen fully-fledged departments with an explicit mandate of addressing water access for low-income consumers
- KMT partnered with WASREB to facilitate the WSPs to map out data on LIA consumers and their demographics.
- Facilitation of WSPs to develop their own internal policy environments that explicitly focussed on strategies of reaching the underserved consumers within their areas of authority.
- Facilitated the six utilities to implement their LIAs policies and strategies with enhanced consumer–firm relationship, through rigorous marketing approaches
- Supported the adoption of innovative climate-smart technologies in the delivery of water services to LIAs