The country loses an estimated Sh11 billion due to water leakages and theft in a sector whereas 50 per cent of the available water is costly and inaccessible to ordinary Kenyans.
Stakeholders in the sector now say that the imminent change of guard in government with the forthcoming general elections will further gain made since the Water Act came into force in 2002 and was reviewed in 2016.
Agencies affiliated with the Ministry of Water affiliated and other stakeholders now peg hope on 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 per cent for water and 40 per cent 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 added that there is a challenge in the gap between the available financial resources for the sector against the investment requirements, with the ministry banking on smart technology to curb water losses. “Smart Water metres is the way to go to curb water losses of up to between 47 and 50 per cent,” he said. Water Secretary, Samuel Alima said with Kenyans consuming an estimated 452 cubic metres per person annually against 1,000 cubic metres per person, 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 a 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. Standards and Advocacy director at Water Services Regulatory Board (WADSREB) Eng. Peter Njaggah says the guidebook will address corruption in the water sector.
He said despite the scarcity of water in the country, the one produced at source and what’s finally accounted for is 50 per cent, and the one lost averages Sh11 billion per year.
~ Written by George Kebaso for the Business Daily