KMT Water Case Study

Embracing Technology For Improved Water Service Delivery In Kenya

A case study of implementing Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and water billing systems in Nanyuki Water and Sewerage Company.
climate change risks impacts and adaptation options

To transform the water service delivery into a functional, efficient, and effective market, KMT has been working with eight urban water companies and five rural water utilities to enhance better operational efficiency through product and process innovation; deepen better and improved utility and sector governance; accelerate adoption and uptake of financing instruments; and promote professionalization of rural water services.

Through these efforts, 103,971 new households have access to clean and safe drinking water.

Introduction

Water utilities in Kenya lack hard evidence and data systems of their operations for effective management and decision-making. This deficiency contradicts the reporting on the progressive realization of the right to water for millions of people living in Kenya. As a result, poor quality of water services is rendered to the population at a high cost, while making the water utilities less economically efficient and operationally unsustainable in service provision.

Information Management Information Systems (IMIS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) remains a weak area for many water utilities. The adoption of such technologies will ensure transparency in operational functions and compliance to set organizational systems.

Over the last eight years, Kenya Markets Trust (KMT) has facilitated water services transformation agenda in Kenya working with key sector institutions such as the Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB), Water Sector Trust Fund (WSTF), Water Services Providers Association (WASPA), as well as individual water service providers (WSPs).

Background Information

The Journey of Changing Water Services Delivery in Kenya | Market Systems Development

In 2018, KMT in partnership with SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, conducted an audit of non-revenue water (NRW) (through Atkins consultant 2018) in nine urban water utilities. This audit exposed glaring gaps that existed in customer engagement and operations sections of the utilities. It is worth noting that, NRW is one of the operational sustainability indicators for water service providers (WSPs). A higher NRW means a WSP’s commercial and financial viability is low, posing a threat to its future existence and continuity. A low NRW on the other hand, indicates a good credit rating, strengthened and improved efficiency of the given WSP.

Journey to digitalization

In the recent years, data and digitization have proven to be critical game changers in services delivery across various industries. In fact, to ensure effective, economic and efficient service provision, decision making must be data-driven. Collection and analysis of operational data can be accurately done using various technological systems.

Impact of the technologies on service provision

Revenue Collection Efficiency

WASREB defines revenue collection efficiency as the total amount of money collected by a utility and expressed as a percentage of the total amount billed over the same period. It has been used to measure the effectiveness of the revenue management system in a utility. Revenue collected, as opposed to amounts billed, is what impacts on a utility’s direct ability to fund its operations.

Integrated Systems Efficiency

Prior to the adoption of the ERP, NAWASCO had multiple systems that stood alone in silos, resulting in numerous inefficiencies since data from different departments were not linked to one another. The ERP has enabled consolidation of information, allowing decision-makers to see what is happening in different departments and how this affects other related parts of the organisation.

Quality of Services to the Customers

Quality of services in relation to strategic customer-utility engagement had tremendously improved by the time data for this case study was collected in November 2020, a 7 months trend (March-October,2020) evidenced a great change and shift. Technology has enabled customer-centric relationship to blossom; customer complaints and resolution mechanism has been enhanced through Customer Relation Module (CRM).

Staff Productivity

Technology through adoption of ERP has transformed the human resources and staff productivity landscape especially in the water sector. Before ERP implementation, staff management was manual, all operations and applications were paper-based and staff were to be physically present and monitored for work to be performed.

Governance (service transparency and improved standards)

Since all operations and performance are using real-time data. The managing director has a dashboard, that provides a bird’s eye view of all the departments and performance at a glance; and decision making is very fast; thus, accelerated decision making.

NRW Management

Nanyuki water success story of Non-Revenue water reduction is largely due to adoption of GIS technology and conventional approaches on NRW management. The successful actions performed in the company were a blend of different actions/ activities as outlines in the NRW reduction roadmap that was developed by the association Industry WASPA for national utilization.

Lessons learned

NRW related issues are not governance issues

NRW related issues are not governance issues, this has been tested and is positively true through the ERP and data on real time will change scenarios when it comes to NRW management. This means that NRW is more of an operation issue and a simple investment in a system comes in handy to solve these. This can be validated under the WASREB governance assessment Matrix, where lack of information system is considered a governance issue and can impact NRW negatively through inaccurate information.

Data driven decision making

Data driven decision making on leaks and bursts management is made easier; pictures and coordinates are taken and loaded in the ERP for evidence and the meter readers use real time data as well and submitted to the billing offic

Technology can improve efficiency of water utilities

Technology can improve efficiency of water utilities. Leads to reduced workload on staff, while automating many manual activities.

Better systems

Better systems lead to relevant, timely and cost-effective services to water users

GIS

GIS and detection of leaks and bursts leading to quick resolution and little water loss?

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Embracing Technology For Improved Water Service Delivery In Kenya

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