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By DAVID MUCHUI
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Kenya loses nearly half (42 percent) its treated drinking water to leaks, theft and meter inaccuracies, the Water Services Providers Association (Waspa) has said.

Waspa said the county loses about Sh8 billion annually and needs about Sh100 billion to replace ageing and dilapidated water infrastructure, which is partly to blame.

Speaking during their biannual meeting at Three Steers Hotel in Meru on Friday, Waspa Chairman Daniel Ng’ang’a said non-revenue water (the term that refers to water loss through theft, leaks and meter inaccuracies) remains a major threat to the sector.

Mr Ng’ang’a, who is also Murang’a Water and Sewerage Company managing director, said the association has been promoting use of smart meters and billing.

“We also need employment of professionals to run the water utilities. As Waspa, we are helping in capacity building of water companies’ staff to enable them deal with emerging challenges.”

Mr Ng’ang’a said they were also encouraging peer learning in the push to cut water loss to 20 percent.

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Waspa chief executive Antony Ambugo said the association had developed guidelines on pre-paid meters, pumps, valves and pipes to assist in reducing water losses.

Mr Ambugo said the water services providers were adopting use of geographical information system (GIS) technologies to ease locating meters and pipes.

“We now have equipment for calibrating water meters to reduce inaccuracies. We have also received funding to the tune of Sh4 billion to finance smart metering in various counties,” Mr Ambugo said.

He said the association was also promoting reduction of power costs through use of efficient energy sources such as solar, biogas and wind.

Mr Ambugo also called on the government to review taxation of water services, including removal of levies and corporation tax to make the commodity cheaper.

Waspa brings together 70 water utilities in the country.



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