Home > Kenya > Kenya – Kisumu set to run prepaid water trial

Kenya – Kisumu set to run prepaid water trial

Kisumu set to run prepaid water trial, Nov. 10, 2009.

Consumers in Kisumu town and its environs may soon be able to pay for the commodity in advance as the first prepaid billing system in the sector comes under pilot in a year’s time.

Under the system meant to curb payment default and ease administration costs, residents will purchase water to the value of cards that will be loaded onto their prepaid meters.

Water is sold in the town at Sh50 for 1000 litres of water and consumers will be able to buy prepaid cards based on their estimated consumption.

The managing director of the Lake Victoria Water Services Board Michael Ochieng’ said that the service would be rolled out in some estates in the town on a pilot basis.

Other areas that are targeted during this initial rollout include the middle class sections of the town and water kiosks in informal settlements.

“We will use this to gauge the response before scaling up the service to the rest of the town,” Mr Ochieng’ said.

Illegal connections

The prepaid service, which will be managed by the town’s water service provider, Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company (KIWASCO), is expected to be rolled out after the town’s water supply is stabilised.

He said he expected the company to “double profits within a year of introducing the system.”

It will be introduced under the second phase of the Sh3 billion Kisumu Water Supply and Sanitation Project funded by the French Development Agency that kicks off at the beginning of next year. The component that will introduce the prepaid water payment system will cost Sh50 million.

The project, as well a series of other interventions, is intended to increase water supply to 92 million litres by 2012.

KIWASCO managing director David Onyango said that at present, water supply in Kisumu is 23 million litres against a demand of 50 million litres.

In addition, an estimated 60 per cent of the water that is released from the water treatment plant cannot be accounted for due to leaks and illegal connections.

The company is in talks with mobile money transfer service providers to facilitate payments through mobile phones.

The company is also planning to introduce e-billing to inject efficiency into the system and boost revenue collection.

Source – Business Daily

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