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Kenya: Water agency adopts German technology to mitigate revenue losses

Kenya Water Institute and German multinational technology group WILO East Africa have joined forces in a partnership focused on enhancing profitability for water distribution companies in Kenya.

Persistent water loss remains a significant challenge in numerous counties, where inactive connections often surpass 50 percent, posing a sustainability challenge for utilities.

According to Kenya Water Institute CEO Leiro Letangule, many water companies are currently unprofitable due to substantial direct costs associated with water distribution, particularly elevated electricity expenses.

“We lose billions in energy and non-revenue water, this is what we are trying to prevent. The system has worked in Nakuru and doing it on a wider scope will be beneficial,” Letangule said.

As per Water Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome, in 16 counties, more than half of the supplied water is currently being wasted, signifying a significant loss in revenue.

A June 2023 report from the CS reveals that Kisii and Nyamira, both served by Gusii Water and Sanitation Company, exhibited the highest water loss rates, each reaching 77 percent, as outlined in Kenya’s Water Services Sector Performance Report for 2021-22.

This emphasizes the critical need for heightened efforts to minimize water losses. Nairobi County, in particular, faced a significant 50 percent loss in the water it generated.

KEWI’s deputy director for research, consultancy and technical services Nelson Kwamini added that the two-year renewable contract with the German firm is a game changer to the water sector in terms of taming revenue losses.

“The pumps supplied by WILO will serve the needs of service providers and a lot of revenue leakages and energy for powering the pumps. We will disseminate these pumps to water distribution firm’s country wide,” Kwamini said.

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