Illegal water connections, leakages cost Nairobi Water Sh1bn

April 13, 2018 11:42 am
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Through a report by the Auditor General Edward Ouko, only 62 per cent of water produced by the firm was billed by customers earning it Sh5.1 billion/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company recorded a loss of over Sh1 billion due to illegal water connections, leakages and other wastage in the Financial year 2016-2017.

Through a report by the Auditor General Edward Ouko, only 62 per cent of water produced by the firm was billed by customers earning it Sh5.1 billion.

“This (non-revenue water) is over and above the allowable loss of 25 per cent in accordance with the Water Services Regulatory Board guidelines,” reads part of the report.

It’s reported that the excess non-revenue water of 13 per cent may have resulted in loss of revenue estimated at Sh1,044,873,270.

The report revealed that cartels and old pipes that frequently burst was the main cause for the huge loss and water shortage.

City residents, especially those living in slums and Eastlands have been going for days or even weeks without water supply. They buy water from hawkers who get the commodity from the alleged cartels running the water points.

Appearing before the County Assembly Committee for Water and Sanitation, Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) acting Managing Director Nahashon Muguna told the committee that water rationing will persist despite the rains.

Muguna said water level at Ndakaini dam – the main reservoir that serves the city – had not improved in the last three months as only little rains have been experienced in the Aberdares and Mt Kenya regions – catchment areas for the rivers feeding the dam.

The Auditor further raised queries on the expenditure by the Board of Directors, especially on foreign trips where they are said to have spent Sh15.4 million above the amount budgeted for trips after some members travelled in business class contrary to the company’s human resource policy.

“Some board members also changed flights by either returning back earlier or later than scheduled time, occasioning extra payments totalling Sh468,001,” it reads.

The board has been at loggerheads with the management and staff union.

In August last year, Governor Mike Sonko suspended the Board following complaints by the union. They had claimed that the board was plotting to sell the firm, a claim that the Board’s Chairman Raphael Nzomo refuted. The board went to court and obtained an injunction.

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