Commitment, Legal Connections, Outreach Can Improve Water Services for Urban Poor in Kenya

KISUMU, May 11, 2009—Water utilities must be committed to transferring existing customers to small-scale water providers, eliminate illegal connections, and take the lead in community outreach to improve water service for poor people living in urban areas, according to a report released today by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP).

As water utilities struggle increasingly to serve the urban poor, partnerships with small-scale providers are increasingly important. The report, Improving water utility services through delegated management: Lessons from Kisumu, Kenya , explores a contractual relationship in Nyalenda, Kisumu’s largest informal settlement, between the local water utility and small-scale water providers as one type of partnership that can improve water service delivery for poor people.

"Experience shows that through partnership, utilities can improve water service delivery to the poor within their area," said Wambui Gichuri, Regional Team Leader for Africa at WSP. "We hope the experience and knowledge captured here will inspire other water utilities in Africa and the world to explore a delegated approach to improving water service delivery to informal settlements."
Improved revenue collection and reduced non-revenue water are two additional incentives for utilities to explore delegating the management of service delivery to poor people living in urban areas to small-scale, private providers.WSP developed this field note in order to disseminate the lessons learned in Kisumu after providing technical assistance to the Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company (KIWASCO) and the Lake Victoria South Water Services Board in the design, implementation, and post-implementation phases of the delegated management approach in Nyalenda.
For a full copy of this report, please click here.

For more information, please contact Toni Sittoni at + 254-02-322 6316, tsittoni@worldbank.org or Christopher Walsh at +1 202.473.4594, cwalsh@worldbank.org.


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