Water supply improvements for upgrading areas with special reference to automatic self-closing taps
de Kruijff, G.J.W.
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The present water supply situation for the urban and semLurban low income population in Kenya is one of great concern. The urban low income population is mostly housed in uncontrolled settlements in low cost sub-standard housing. This population is served by a limited number of water kiosks operated by licensed private intermediaries. The purchasers are paying about five times more for their water than tile rest of the population. This has resulted in an unacceptably low level of consumption averaging 11 litres a day per person. The estimated 14 million population of Kenya will probably double before the end of this century. Only some 12\ of this population currently live in towns of more than 2.(XX) persons. and this group is expected to reach 30\ of the total population by the year 2(xx). In other. words in the next twenty years urban centres have to supply water to another 7.5 million people.l To make things worse 63\ of the prisent population living in low income urban areas earn less than K. shs. 300 a month. . . The per capita income (measured in constant amounts to discount inflation) will probably decline in the3 next decade. and with no major income redistribution the future looks bleak. . It is clear. therefore. that the announced National policy that all houses are to be provided with full services. e.g. piped water. shower facilities and waterborne sewe-age is not feasible for the majority of the population. A new water policy should be developed for low income urban inhabitants which is capable of impl~entation. Thi~ paper examines strategies to extend the water supply to tile plots of low Inccme families living in urban and semi-urban areas. It will be shown that in those areas where water is supplied by water kiosks or stand pipes. innovative' techniques. (such as. autanatic self closing taps and modern pipe materials) and simplified operating procedures. (such as the establishment of flat rate pricing ·which simplifies billing and accounting) can make it economically possible to supply every plot with a water tap.