Directors of water companies demand for security of tenure

Written By: Hunja Macharia

The Water Services Providers Association (WASPA) wants a security of tenure for boards of directors at public water utility companies for effective service delivery in the water sector.

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WASPA Chief Executive Officer Antony Ambugo says politicization of boards of management at the utilities hampers development of the sector in the country.

He says the state department of Water and Sanitation and County Governors ought to harmonize the existing management framework of water bodies in the effort to rid the sector of constant wrangling.

Speaking in Nakuru County during the launch of the 2018-2022 strategic plan for the Nakuru Rural Water Services Company (NARUWASCO), Ambugo said the wrangles hinders implementation of practical strategic plans that seek to enhance universal access to clean water to citizens.

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The Chief Executive observed that boards of directors should have tenure of at least 10 years; a term in office he says is adequate to enable them drive the vision of the companies as envisaged in their strategic development plans.

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He says a politically motivated high turnover in top management of various water bodies in the country in recent years has increasingly impaired implementation of practical development plans and this has denied citizens sustained access to clean water.

Ambugo attributed the incessant bickering between key officials at the two levels of government and some boards of directors of the companies to vested interests saying the move is inimical to the growth of the water sector as anticipated in the revised Water ACT 2016.

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On the other hand he challenged directors of the companies to leverage on the revised Water Act that among others expands capitation as a source of revenue for the water bodies to scale up their coverage and ensure all citizens have equitable access to clean water as enshrined in the constitution.

Ambugo says a practical management framework of rural water utilities is critical to the country`s realization of Sustainable Development Goal number six which seeks to ensure universal access to clean water and sanitation.

He says this will also help the country raise the required Ksh.1.7 trillion to realize the crucial goal.

Ambugo pointed out Non Revenue Water (NRW) as a major obstacle to sustainable growth of the water sector saying the loss is estimated to amounts to Sh. 8 billion translating to 42 per cent of revenue lost annually.

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He argues that boards of management that have sound strategic development plans and that are free from political interference can help curb losses incurred on the account of non revenue water.

Water companies have repeatedly reported political interference, illegal connections, un -serviced and unmetered water lines as impediments to their revenue targets.

On his part NARUWASCO Managing Director Reuben Korir said in the unveiled plan the utility company is renovating water pipelines and building additional bore holes within its 70 square kilometer jurisdiction in a bid to expand its services from the current 350,000 registered users to 1 million users.

He says the multi million shillings development will help the company reduce losses.

 

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