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Water companies losing Sh.8 billion annually through theft by cartels

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.

By  Martin Munyi

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