Economy

Water losses costing Kenya Sh11bn yearly

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More than half of the water supplied in 16 counties is going to waste, depicting a significant loss of revenue.

Kisii and Nyamira, both served by Gusii Water and Sanitation Company, recorded the highest water loss at 77 percent each, according to the Performance Report of Kenya’s Water Services Sector 2021/22, implying the need for double efforts to reduce water losses. Nairobi County lost 50 percent of the water it produced.

The water is lost before it reaches the customer. Losses can be through leaks, or apparent failures such as through theft or metering inaccuracies.

Read: Nairobi loses Sh4.8bn in unbilled water use

The trend, the report says is undermining the progressive realisation of the right to water as enshrined in the Constitution as well as the government’s effort to attain its goal of universal water access by 2030.

“The issue of concern is that the reasons contributing to the high levels of water losses are not technical, but largely commercial and governance (corruption and illegal practices). This means that with minimal resources and strict enforcement of guidelines, these losses can significantly be reduced to acceptable levels,” reads the report launched by Water Cabinet secretary Alice Wahome last week.

Water loss continues to be the biggest challenge across many counties which are also constantly recording inactive connections of up to more than 50 percent, posing a challenge to the sustainability of utilities.

Read: Homes to face higher sewer, water bills in World Bank deal

“The level of NRW [non-water revenue] has remained above 45 percent in the last three years, this is about 205 million cubic metres, translating to more than Sh11.2 billion lost annually,” added the report.

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