According to the 2016 Impact Report by the Water Services Regulatory Board, 45% of the Kenyan population does not have access to water. This is as a result of several factors including inter alia an old dilapidated supply network system, climate change, and Non-Revenue Water (NRW). Of interest to this paper is the lack of access to water due to NRW.
Non Revenue Water(NRW) is the volume of water lost through commercial and physical means as a proportion of water produced. Physical losses may be attributed to leakages and bursts whereas commercial losses emanate from illegal connections, unmetered public use, meter error, unbilled metered use and water for which no payment is collected.
NRW is often used as one of the performance measures for utility companies such that high levels of NRW points to a poorly managed water utility. Currently, NRW in Kenya stands at a staggering 43% which is way above the global average of 35% and a far cry from the 25% envisioned in the Vision 2030 master plan.
While one of the solutions that could be employed to increase access to water is expansion and upgrading of the supply system, it is only prudent that the sector ensures that it efficiently manages the water it currently produces. One of the ways that NRW could be tackled is through the use of citizens and Utility Company employees to report instances of water losses that they encounter.
Non-Revenue Water in Kenya stands at a staggering 43% which is way above the global average of 35% and a far cry from the 25% envisioned in the Vision 2030 master plan.
While this may seem easy, it poses a danger in instances where large corporations, industries and high income households collude with corrupt Utility Company employees to use large amounts of water without paying the full cost.
This paper therefore advances the use of Anonymous Reporting as a solution to this problem. This is where members of the public and Utility Company employees are given an avenue for reporting instances of commercial and physical water losses albeit anonymously.
Safemark Software Limited offers an Anonymous Reporting System which guarantees complete anonymity for its users. Users can submit reports through various channels including emails, sms, phone calls, and walk-ins. All such reports are logged into the system as anonymous and each is given a unique code where the users can log into the system or use a short code to check on the progress of the reports they have made. They also can receive feedback when they request.
Internally, an organization that has deployed this system can assign submitted reports to analysts and be able to check on whether they have been resolved or not. Such a system would go a long way in encouraging members of the public and employees of Utility companies to report commercial and physical water losses. This in turn reduces the time it takes to detect water losses which translates in increased access to water for households.