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Water firms lose Sh8 billion to cartels yearly

By MARTIN MUNYI, KNA | February 3rd 2020
The Water Services Regulatory Board Chairman (WASREB) Joshua Irungu when he toured Nanyuki Water and Sewarage Company. KNA

The Water Service Providers (WSPs) are losing Sh8 billion annually to cartels through non-revenue water, a water regulator has said.

The Water Services Regulatory Board Chairman (WASREB), Joshua Irungu said that his board was engaging county governments to dismantle water cartels who were responsible for hindrances in quality water provision.

“Sanitation and water provision is the mandate of the County governments but regulation was the role of the National government, that is why we’re working closely with devolved units to stem water theft,” Irungu said.

The WASREB Chairman spoke in Nanyuki on Tuesday when he led board members on a tour of Nanyuki Water and Sewerage Company (NAWASCO) on water provision progress in the region.

He added that NAWASCO was losing 37 percent of its water to non-revenue outlets and called on the local water company to seal loopholes that would reduce water theft to below 25 percent.

“We are advising WSPs to consider installing smart meters and also upscale surveillance along water lines to reduce theft by cartels and those customers who fail to pay bills and end up making illegal connections,” the WASREB Chairman said.

Irungu added that his board would not hesitate to cancel the license of a WSP if it was unable to meet the standards required in provision of quality and reliable water to people under their jurisdiction.

He further added that his board was pleased with water and sanitation services by NAWASCO and encouraging the company to extend its services to non-urban areas in order to serve more residents.

The NAWASCO Chairman, Yusuf Mohamed said that the company was addressing water loss through non-revenue sources and was keen on being the best WSP in the country.

“In the year 2018, we were ranked fifth-best water provider in the country and we hope this year we shall emerge the best,” Mohamed said.

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