Kirinyaga to start use of pre-paid water meters to boost efficiency in water supply
Kirinyaga Water and Sanitation Company Limited (KIRIWASCO) is set to roll out use of automated pre-paid water metering system to increase efficiency in water supply in the county. The token meters were introduced for piloting in an event held at Sagana on Friday.
Governor Anne Waiguru says the system will also help customers control their spending on water, outage detection, tamper notification and reduced labour cost. In a speech read on her behalf by County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Environment, Water and Natural Resources Dr. Jack Gutu, during the launch Kiriwasco Strategic Plan 2021-2026, Waiguru said the system will provide lasting solution to perennial complaints over large an unexpected water bills
The company will also reduce cost of employing meter readers as the meters have accurate water consumptions data for the billing purpose. “Installation of the automatic meters was a laudable initiative that the company has embraced, which will definitely place it among the most competitive water companies in the country,” she said. Kiriwasco now becomes the fourth company in Kenya to introduce such meters. The meters are already in use in Malindi, Bomet and Eldoret water companies.
The governor also commissioned construction a water bottling plant that will help the company tap into the bottled water market and expand its revenue streams. “The bottling plant will boost the company’s revenue collection base,” the governor added. Data provided by Kiriwasco shows that the county has a 66% water supply coverage. Out of Kirinyaga County’s total population projection of 618,339 as at June 2020, 135,445 are served by 76 unregulated small- scale water service providers and 275,364 served by two regulated water service providers giving a total of 407,809.
Waiguru said a sewerage system is being put up at Kerugoya and Kutus towns to address problems caused by rising urban population. The county boss said the launch of the Kiriwasco Strategic Plan 2021-2026, marks a huge milestone towards the achievement of her goal of providing the highest standards of water and sanitation services to the county residents. She challenged the company to continue developing sustainable innovations that focus on all the key result areas and the timelines outlined within the strategic plan so as to keep pace with rising urban population.
The governor said her administration has prioritized development of water infrastructure which has seen an increment in the number of households accessing clean water. “My administration has so far carried out more than 70 water projects benefitting over 50,000 people. The projects involve construction of water intakes and reservoirs, laying of water pipes, sinking of boreholes as well as distribution of water tanks to help in harvesting and storage of rain water,” she added.
The projects include; Mwea Makima Water project which is now serving residents of Wang’uru town and its environs, Riagicheru, Kithiriti-Musangondi irrigation water projet, Kiandegwa, Togonye, Kitheru, Rurii and Kiorugari in Mwea. In Ndia constituency, the county government has completed Mukui, Sagana and Mung’etho water projects and Kiburu and Kamoro borehole projects among others. In Gichugu constituency, Ngariama, Njukiini and Kiagikiki projects are among those completed.
Kiriwasco Managing Director Ephantus Maina said the strategic plan seek to ensure increased water production, expansion of water infrastructure, water treatment and providing operational efficiency. Maina said to empower staff, the company has purchased 25 motor cycles that will go a long way into ensuring efficient service provision.