Water Protection Unit Launched to Curb Illegal Connections and Reduce Non Revenue Water in Nairobi

Water Protection Unit Launched to Curb Illegal Connections and Reduce Non-Revenue Water in Nairobi
Today 16th February 2023 marks a significant milestone in Nairobi’s water and sanitation sector as the Water Protection Unit (WPU) was officially launched by the Principal Secretary of Water and Sanitation Dr. Paul Ronoh in Embakasi.
The launch of the WPU is aimed at curbing illegal water connections and reducing Non-Revenue Water (NRW) in Kenya.
NRW refers to the volume of treated water that doesn’t earn revenue, and it results from a variety of causes, including dilapidated infrastructure, use of weak and substandard pipe materials, water theft, inadequate water resources, limited capacity of water production and distribution facilities, and inadequate staff with the capacity to implement NRW management programmes.
At the moment, the national non-revenue water ratio is estimated at 45%, which is equivalent to a loss of about KShs. 10.5 Billion. That’s a staggering amount of money that could significantly improve the national water coverage. The main reasons contributing to the high levels of NRW are largely commercial and governance (corruption and illegal practices).
The ministry envisions attaining a NRW ratio of less than 25% by 2030 and has set 20% as the sector benchmark. This means that water service providers shall commit themselves to reducing their non-revenue water by some agreed margin during licensing. Additionally, the ministry will ensure that the MWSI/JICA-developed non-revenue water management standard manuals and guidelines are utilized effectively by all water utilities.
To achieve this goal, the ministry is leveraging technology by upscaling the usage of smart meters, which are affordable and durable. They are also using ICT systems to monitor water usage in pipelines, storage tanks, service pipelines, and at the household level. Furthermore, there will be enhanced sustainability to avoid the deterioration of pipelines by ensuring that effective pressure management, swift high-quality pipeline repairs, and asset renewals are observed in the water systems.
The formation of the WPU will ensure that those damaging water infrastructure, including pipeline breakages by road contractors, and those found culpable, will be arrested and taken to court. The WPU activities commenced in NCWSC and will be upscaled to the rest of the country.
This is a significant move towards ensuring that every Kenyan has access to clean and safe water. It’s crucial to protect our water resources and infrastructure, and we must do everything possible to prevent illegal water connections and reduce Non-Revenue Water in our country.
Let’s all work together to support this initiative and ensure that Kenya’s water resources are protected for generations to come!
The PS was accompanied by AWWDA CEO Eng. Michael M. Thuita, MBS, Nairobi Water MD Eng. Nahashon Muguna, local administration among others.