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Performance Enhancement for Water utilities in Kenya (PEWAK) is a five year project (2015-2019) funded by the Sustainable Water Fund (FDW) by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. The project is aimed at improving performance of water service providers in the Kenyan water sector by benchmarking, collective learning and innovative financing. Project partners are Aquanet, Vitens Evides International (VEI), SNV, Institute for Water Education (UNESCO-IHE), Water Service Providers Association (WASPA), the Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB) and the Water Sector Trust Fund (WSTF).

Inefficient operations and high revenue losses (non-revenue water is at 44% nationally) affect the service quality of the water service providers in Kenya. In addition, the use of energy is high because water utilities use pumped systems instead of gravity to deliver water. Revenue losses have led to poor services, resulting in dissatisfied customers and low Operation & Maintenance (O&M) coverage. Through benchmarking, the project partners seek to improve the performance of water utilities by identifying performance gaps and translate this to Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs). PIPs act as a guide to water utilities in addressing existing performance gaps.

Specific objectives of the project are:

  1. Sustainably anchoring the utility-led benchmarking programme in the Kenyan water sector
  2. Reduction of Non-revenue Water (NRW) for 10 WSPs to levels less than 25% in District Metered Areas covering 51,000 connections covering 400,000 individuals
  3. Increasing access to water in Low Income Areas (LIAs) for 100,000 people through blended financing
  4. Establishing Performance Based Contracts aimed at non-revenue water reduction and linkage to providers of innovative products and services

SNV's sector expertise and experience in ensuring improved water service providers-customer dialogue and enhanced corporate governance in other projects, will be harnessed to support selected water utilities to revamp their service quality. SNV's focus will be to ensure improved downward accountability, and linking complaints management to a reduction of non-revenue water by supporting the water utilities to implement district metered areas (DMAs).

The project will use Performance Based Contracting (PBC) to reduce non-revenue water. Private companies will be supported to showcase innovative technologies to water utilities aimed at addressing non-revenue water. The benchmarking programme hosted by the Water Service Providers Association (WASPA) will foster peer-to-peer learning in the water sector therefore advocate for homegrown solutions.

Revenue collection is tantamount to the availability of funds for investment. Increased revenues collected will enable water utilities to invest in improved infrastructure and increased access to water and sewage services. With more efficient operations water utilities will provide better services, which will lead to an improved customer satisfaction index.

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David Wanyoike

WASH Sector Coordinator & Project Manager

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