FACTS GATHERED FROM THIWASCO-CONSUMER CLINIC


●  Thika Water and Sewerage Company Ltd (THIWASCO) evolved from Thika Water project to a public limited company initiated in 1950 at Chania River and commissioned in 1956.

● THIWASCO was registered in the year 2009 as Water and Sewerage services providing Company and began operations in September 2009 as a water service provider under the Athi Water Services Board.

● The major sources of water for the company are the Chania and Thika Rivers obtained through gravity.

● The company serves the Thika Sub-County and its environs which covers an area of approximately 254 km of water pipeline and 60km of sewer pipeline.

● The company currently has approximately 32,000 water connections and 12,000 sewerage connections.

● THIWASCO serves over about 300,000 residents.

● In June 2018, THIWASCO improved its water production capacity of 36,000m3 (36 million litres) daily to the current 41,000 m3 (41 million litres) per day, translating to about 14.9 million m3 of water annually.

● THIWASCO currently has achieved 85% of its targeted coverage with 35,500 water connections and 13,206 sewerage connections

● In order to improve on efficiency, THIWASCO has started embracing ICT and has transited to cashless revenue collection effective July 1 2019. Customers now pay bills via MPESA and through Equity bank agents.

● The company has also installed a new billing system known as the Mobile Field Assistance (M.F.A.) for digitised metre reading and billing system that has been integrated with an USSD Code to enable customers query balances and ease payments of bills.

CHALLENGES:

● Reduced water levels from the water catchment areas

● Inadequate financial resources to undertake major infrastructural expansions to address the current water deficits.

● Inadequate governance personnel because of political intrigues that led to a board that was not fully constituted. This has derailed the processes of undertaking certain major programmes, especially those that demand donor funding.
For instance, an incomplete board last year forced the World Bank to withdraw Ksh. 191 million Grant by from the company’s accounts thus derailing some infrastructural development programmes.

● The demand (56,000 m3 per day) for water is higher than what the company is able to produce (41,000 m3 per day) with the current infrastructure due to rapid population and development growth in the last one decade.

● Old infrastructure that need replacement.

● A lot water is also trapped upstream by commercial farms for irrigation causing some deficit in the intake points especially during the dry seasons.

● Excess levies and taxes.

● Unscrupulous investors have grabbed some of the land meant for the expansion of the water treatment plants.

FURURE PLANS.

● THIWASCO is in the process of acquiring a Ksh. 764 million grant from the World Bank to develop a new water intake at Kariminu River near Maryhill School that will add into the system, 15,000 m3 (5 million litres) per day. The project is expected to be complete within the next 36 months.

● In partnership with Kiambu Government and Athi Water Works Development Agency (AWWDA), THIWASCO has also secured a grant of Ksh. 11 billion from DANIDA to construct new water and wastewater (sewerage) treatment and conveyance infrastructure as well as rehabilitation of the old dilapidated infrastructure. This project is aimed at meeting the future water demands up to the year 2042.

● THIWASCO, under the Kenya Water Pooled Fund, also plans to replace old pumps with energy efficient motor pumps, upgrade the existing water treatment plant by installing of inclined plate settlers to increase production and improve quality and development of mini-hydro to reduce reliance on main power grid and thereby reducing production costs.

● THIWASCO also plans to set up new sewerage plants at Pilot, Kilimambogo and Nanga with a view to cover more areas. The Pilot plant will be installed with biodigester infrastructure to produce biogas that will be used to generate electricity, thus reduce power bills.

● Starting next week, the company will map out a new water rationing programme that will be more specific on areas covered and a bit detailed to help consumers plan for the availability of water in their areas of residence.

● The company also plans to continue engaging in tree planting activities to conserve the environment.
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