KEWI and WILO’s Strategic Partnership Targets Efficiency and Sustainability”



In a landmark collaboration aimed at revolutionizing water distribution efficiency in Kenya, the Kenya Water Institute (KEWI) and the renowned German multinational technology group WILO East Africa have announced a strategic partnership.

This initiative seeks to address the pressing issue of water loss, which has plagued numerous counties across the nation, jeopardizing the sustainability of water utilities and causing significant revenue drains.

Water loss remains a formidable challenge in Kenya, with many counties grappling with inactive connections exceeding 50 percent.

This inefficiency not only undermines the financial viability of water distribution companies but also compromises access to clean water for communities across the country.

Recognizing the urgency of this issue, the CEO of the Kenya Water Institute, Leiro Letangule, emphasized the need to mitigate losses incurred due to energy consumption and non-revenue water.

“Most water companies are currently operating at a loss due to the exorbitant costs associated with water distribution, particularly the soaring electricity expenses,” remarked Letangule.

“Our collaboration with WILO East Africa aims to curb these losses significantly, building upon the success witnessed in Nakuru and extending it nationwide.”

The gravity of the situation was further underscored by Water Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome, who revealed that more than half of the supplied water in 16 counties is wasted, resulting in substantial revenue hemorrhage.

A damning report released in June 2023 highlighted the alarming water loss rates in counties such as Kisii and Nyamira, served by the Gusii Water and Sanitation Company, where losses peaked at a staggering 77 percent each.

“Nairobi County, a major urban center, also experienced a significant 50 percent loss in its water supply chain,” Wahome lamented, attributing these losses primarily to leaks, theft, and metering inaccuracies.

To combat this pervasive issue, KEWI’s deputy director for research, consultancy, and technical services, Nelson Kwamini, emphasized the transformative potential of the partnership with WILO East Africa.

Under the two-year renewable contract, WILO will provide cutting-edge pumps tailored to the needs of water service providers, effectively curbing revenue leakages and reducing energy consumption associated with pump operations.

“The introduction of WILO’s advanced pumping solutions marks a pivotal moment for the water sector, offering a sustainable approach to minimizing revenue losses,” remarked Kwamini.

“These pumps will be distributed nationwide, empowering water distribution firms to optimize their operations and enhance service delivery.”

Echoing this sentiment, Belete Matebe, Managing Director of WILO East Africa, outlined the firm’s commitment to fostering innovation and digitization within the water sector. As part of the partnership, WILO will establish a state-of-the-art laboratory within KEWI, dedicated to advancing water digitization initiatives and serving the broader East African community.

“The establishment of our lab at KEWI represents a significant step towards leveraging technology to address the water challenges facing East Africa,” Matebe affirmed.

“Through collaborative research and innovation, we aim to drive sustainable solutions that promote efficient water management and enhance access to clean water for all.”

The partnership between the Kenya Water Institute and WILO East Africa marks a transformative milestone in Kenya’s journey towards sustainable water management.

By harnessing the power of technology, innovation, and collaboration, this initiative holds the promise of mitigating water losses, improving operational efficiency, and ensuring equitable access to this precious resource for generations to come.

As the nation charts a course towards a water-secure future, this partnership serves as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path towards a more resilient and sustainable water infrastructure.

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