Kiambiu is a large informal settlement located in Nairobi’s Eastleigh division and has four villages: Sagana, Vihiga, Kosovo and Mabatini. With a total population of approximately 70,000 residents. The project was undertaken jointly by Nairobi City Water & Sewerage Company, Water Services for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and funded by One Foundation. The overall objective of the project was to ensure improved access to safe drinking water for Kiambiu informal settlement residents.

In 2015, NCWSC with funding from the WSTF commissioned a water reticulation project in the settlement, covering all the villages.  It was expected that the NCWSC would proceed to contract and meter the residents. Out of the 109 applications from landlords received by NCWSC offices, only a few were metered and connected majority of the residents continued to access water without paying.  This led to puncturing and vandalism of the infrastructure, distortion of the supply network and rampant wastage of water.

It is based on this background that NCWSC partnered with WSUP to attempt to reverse these negative trends by eliminating illegal access, bringing services closer to users and promoting formalised access that would also reduce non- revenue water for the utility.

Covid- 19 Disruption

COVID 19 pandemic largely interrupted the flow of the project, particularly stalling NCWSC from disconnecting illegal water access, which had been expected to trigger demand for metered connections.  However the project still realised some benefits and success stories.

Project Benefits

The project realised the following benefits:

  • Extension of water services to low-income areas by undertaking tertiary network extensions and promoting household and shared connections within communities.
  • Elimination of illegal water connections by ensuring metered water connections
  • Bringing services closer to users and promoting formalised access.
  • Reduce Non- Revenue Water for the utility.

Project’s Successes Stories

Achievement of Metered Connections Targets

  • NCWSC was able to reach and connect 36 domestic (plots) customer accounts through the online application portal.  Over 500 landlords were also reached through telephone calls to encourage them to apply for metered water connections from NCWSC. 
  • Over 4000 households were reached directly and customers were assisted to apply for NCWSC PPD tokens. Out of this number, 2,600 households were able to complete the contracting process and pay for their PPD tokens, giving them access to the PPD units.
  • Critical information on illegal connection activities was also received for appropriate action.
  • Staffs based at the project field office received and processed many customer queries that were resolved or escalated to other sections of NCWSC as appropriate.
  • A digital and physical record of customer data and applications is being maintained in the project office and accessible to NCWSC staff.