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Kenya: Nairobi water board sent packing following reports on malpractices

Updated - Friday 07 August 2009

The entire board of the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company was sent packing over alleged mismanagement on 8 July 2009. A full council meeting of the City Council of Nairobi made the move citing unfair water rationing and illegal connections that have seen millions of cubic litres of water lost even with the rains failing substantially.

The sacking of the board followed after Transparency International Kenya (TI-K) in partnership with Maji na Ufanisi a non governmental organization, released a report [1] at the end of June 2009 aimed at improving good governance in the Kenya water and sanitation sector. Their study established that 57% of water consumed for domestic purposes was unaccounted for and that cases of bribery for illegal connections were higher in Nairobi at 87%, Mombasa 75% and Kisumu 67%. Other malpractices include tampering with meter readings and diversion of water from domestic users to industries.

The TI-K report was based on a study conducted between March and May 2009 in Nairobi, Mombasa, Mwingi, Kitui and Budalangi using a sample size of 2722 small-scale water users and 119 large-scale water users. Speaking during the release of the report findings TI-K Director Job Ogonda said that poor management and corruption within the water sector has lead to malpractices and therefore experiencing a big loss in revenue collection. Water Permanent Secretary David Stower welcomed the TI-K report saying that it would help the ministry in the ongoing reforms in the water sector.

[1] TI-K and Maji na Ufanisi (2009). Water governance study 2009 summary. 31 p. PDF file

See also an earlier study: TI-K (2006). Nairobi Water & Sewerage Company Limited : a survey, April - May 2005. Nairobi, Kenya, Transparency International Kenya. iv, 46 p. PDF file

Related web site: Water Integrity Network

Contact: Transparency International-Kenya,,

Source: Casper Waithaka, Daily Nation /, 08 Jul 2009 ; Margaret Kalekye, KNA / KBC, 22 Jun 2009

Tags: africa, governance, policies & legislation, transparency, water distribution


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