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Water Company targets to improve sanitation in slums

Kakamega County Water and Sanitation Company (KACWASCO) is developing a pro-poor policy to provide water and improve sanitation among the urban poor who live in informal settlements.

The pro-poor policy is one of the interventions that the company is undertaking as it targets to provide uninterrupted water and sanitation services to all residents of Kakamega.

The Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Christabel Ashiono said the pro-poor policy is one of the requirements set out by the water regulator, Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB) on provision of water services for all.

She noted that the majority of the people who live in informal settlements are low-income earners who struggle to pay monthly water bills.

Ashiono said, with support from the Water Sector Trust Fund (WSTF), among other donors, the company will construct water kiosks, rehabilitate old water networks, replace dilapidated water networks and subsidize water tariffs in the informal settlements at a cost of Sh6 million.

In addition, the company will meter flat rates in the mapped out areas to ensure low income earners have access to better sanitation standards and access to water at their door steps.

The initiative is part of the company’s targets in the 2021-2026 strategic plan that was launched during the annual consumer summit held in Kakamega.

Through the strategic plan, KACWASCO targets to ensure 100 per cent adherence to drinking water and provision of high wastewater standards.

“We want to ensure that by 2026 there is no rationing of water, every customer gets water on a daily basis for 24 hours. Currently only Mumias receives uninterrupted water supply,” noted the Human Resource and Administration Manager Linet Wasaba.

The company targets to Increase water production from the current 5million cubic meters per day to 8million cubic meters per day by 2026 and increase water supply coverage from the current 78 per cent to 95per cent.

Ms Wasaba said more than Sh360 million will be needed in rehabilitating raw water main lines, rehabilitate 6 existing boreholes, construct two sedimentation basins at Tindinyo, rehabilitate the existing water infrastructure at Shitoli and Kakamega, and install chlorine dosing units at Nambacha and Tindinyo.

“We are also targeting to increase sanitation coverage from 14 per cent to 40 per cent by 2026,” she noted.

“With the new tariff we are targeting a consistent revenue collection of Sh40 million per month for the sustainability of the company. This will increase our annual revenue collection from Sh 223 million in 2021 to Sh420 million by 2023,” she added.

KACWASCO has a customer base of 30, 000 with 24, 000 being active while the rest are dormant.

The Company provides water and sewerage services in five areas of Kakamega Area, Shinyalu Area, Shitoli Area, Malava Area and Mumias Area.

It also serves Tindinyo Scheme, Butere Scheme, Navakholo Scheme, Muranda Scheme and Lumakanda Scheme.

By Moses Wekesa and Lenah Mue

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