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Water Experts Call for Concerted Effort to Produce Clean Water in Kenya

“Access to water is extolled in the [Kenya] constitution. Vision of the ministry is to create partnership to make Kenya assured of water and sanitation. Water demand is rising. If our demand continues to grow than renewable sources, it is our environment that will suffer. Water coverage is 60% and the target is 80% by 2022 and universal water coverage by 2030. 18 million Kenyans in rural and urban areas still have no access to water. Sewerage coverage is at 16%, with 70% of urban households using onsite sewerage. Sewerage covers only 3 million Kenyans. US$85 million required to fill funding gap.”

Kimanthi Kyengo

Deputy Director Water Services, Ministry of Water and Sanitation

Dr Kyengo
Dr Kyengo

“Water is key to six of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals – clean water, sustainable cities, responsible consumption, climate change, peace, justice. In 2025, there will be 1.8 billion people living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity.

Germany has great competence. It has 150 years’ experience in water supply and sewerage disposal. German companies are highly specialised and decentralised. Germany has almost 100% water connection and available 24/7 [day and night]. The piped water is better [quality] than bottled water. The piped water loss is less than 7%.

How are these  high standards maintained? The high standards are paid for by investment coming from charges paid by customers. Germany has been reducing water consumption from 147 litres per person a day to 120 litres per person a day. Toilets are installed with flush toilets with two buttons for low and high flushes. Also, children from kindergarten are taught not to waste water.”

Michael Kersting

Chairman, German Water Partnership.

Michael Kersting
Michael Kersting

“We’ve to ensure efficiency. We seek to have local savings to invest in areas we need infrastructure. Large numbers of water utilities [companies] are offering water of unacceptable quality. 40% of sewerage is lost on the way with only 60% reaching sewerage plant.

Kenya Water Pooled Fund provides water services providers with long term lending. It’s a pooled fund funded by Dutch government. Dutch government pays for our operating cost. We plan to seek green bond certification for our bond to give it attractiveness. We target to issue a Sh5 billion bond.”

Robert Bunyi

Kenya Water Pooled Fund

“We provide water filter pumps for jerry cans on a household level and groups. Jerry cans are not easy to clean and germs know it. What-A-Bird filter removes 99.9% bacteria. No electricity or chemical is needed.

We offer the water filter pump as a cheap solution for households and groups. The use and maintenance is easy, so there is no need for expensive services. We’re looking for distributors in Kenya.”

Robert Bunyi
Robert Bunyi

Lars Trappe

Chief Executive Officer, What-A-Bird

“We manufacture and sell wastewater treatment technologies for domestic and commercial wastewater as well as separation technologies. We’ve experience in hot and temperate regions.

Kenya needs sewage treatment to save water. This is a solution to wastewater so that you can safely have it in the environment. A septic tank can be upgraded to a biological treatment plant. Our wastewater treatment plant has a remote control. Treated wastewater can be used for irrigation.”

What a bird
What-A-Bird filter

Julian Ulbrich

Key Account Manager, Klaro

“ Clean drinking water is a human right. 80% of all illnesses originate from polluted drinking water. Our company’s water treatment unit, known as Innovation IV-Eco Solar Water, provides a safe drinking water with solar energy supply. The treatment has no electric shock danger because it’s 12volts. Innovation IV-Eco Solar Water is an economical water treatment device. It can produce up to 7,000 litres.”


Dr Asaad Farag

Managing Partner, Eco Innovation Group

“Sewerin Limited produces gas and water leak detection devices for distribution networks. The company solves non-revenue water problem. Small and non-detectable leaks cause problems – that is why you need leak detection. Leak detection is acoustic. Where there’s highest noise is where there is leak. All leak detection techniques are based on acoustic principles. A water company must have a department dedicated for leak detection. There has to be a policy, for instance, on handling non-revenue water.”

Michael Kersting

Business Development Manager, Sewerin Limited

“We are a leading provider of complete hydrometric systems for performing hydrological and meteorological measurements. We’re facing increasing population and environmental challenges thus we need to monitor weather – where the water is coming from, where it is going. We provide agricultural meteorology for precision farming and smart agriculture. It’s not enough to know there’s flooding but know how much, what areas and effect on ground water. Our company participated in Kilimo Salama project in Kenya funded by Sygenta. We already have good contact with Kenya Meteorological Department.”

Find more details from our 2019 water Yearbook

About Kaburu Mugambi

Kaburu Mugambi is a veteran of business reporting having worked with two national newspapers in Kenya. He is a graduate of economics from Kenyatta University. He started his journalism career in 2000 with The People Daily as a business reporter before becoming a business sub-editor. He joined Daily Nation in 2004 as a business writer. He holds a post-graduate diploma in mass communication from University of Nairobi's School of Journalism and an MBA in marketing from the same university. In 2016, he founded Water Tower, a media firm focused on water, energy and climate. Its content cuts across water, energy and climate with emphasis on adaptation and sustainability.

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