Factors influencing non-revenue water in Kimilili water supply, Bungoma county, Kenya
Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 7C on environmental sustainability target was “to halve by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation services”. Access to safe water is the percentage of the population with reasonable access (20lts/person/day) to and adequate amount of water from an improved source as household connection, water kiosk, or standpipe, borehole, protected well or spring or rainwater collection. Unimproved sources include vendors (donkey cart, push cart (mkokoteni), tanker trucks and unprotected wells and springs. This has not improved much in addressing the problem of water scarcity despite the numerous water projects. The purpose of this study was to examine the factors influencing non-revenue water in Kimilili water supply. Non-revenue water is water loss from the total water supplied. The study objectives are; to assess the extent to which mechanical conditions of water meters influence non-revenue water in Kimilili water supply, Bungoma County. To establish whether unmetered connections influence non-revenue water in Kimilili water supply, Bungoma County. To examine whether customer base influence non-revenue water in Kimilili water supply, Bungoma County. To establish the extent to which water bursts and leaks influence non-revenue water in Kimilili water supply, Bungoma County. The study research questions were; how does mechanical condition of water meter influence the level of non-revenue water in Kimilili water supply, Bungoma County? To what extent do unmetered connections influence the level of non-revenue water in Kimilili water supply, Bungoma County? To what extent does customer base influence nonrevenue water in Kimilili water supply, Bungoma County? How do water bursts and leaks influence non-revenue water in Kimilili water supply, Bungoma County? The information is limited to Kimilili water supply in Bungoma County, Kenya. The study population size was 2,136 registered active water connections, 23 water supply staff and 4 from administration members. Descriptive survey design was used. Representative sample units were selected using stratified random proportionate sampling using Cochran formulae (1963) and purposive sampling; sample size 186 customers, 2 administration and 2 staff. The primary data was collected using questionnaires and interview guide. The secondary data for this study was obtained through document review. The response rate of the sampled administration and staff was 100% while from the customers was 80.12%. The questionnaire was pilot-tested using a sample of ten (10) respondents from Webuye Water Supply after which its reliability was determined using Pearson product moment correlation coefficient (r) and obtained r = +0.78. The study used frequency distribution, percentages and IBM SPSS Version 20 to analyze data. The study established that mechanical condition of water meters influence NRW thorough meter class and age, unmetered connections through illegal connections and flat rates, customer base through the customer attitude and ability to pay and lastly, water bursts and leaks influence NRW. Based on the study findings it is suggested that; Kimilili Water Supply should develop and implement a NRW reduction strategy which should include water meter registration accuracy enhancement, meter replacement schedule, meter all flat rates and carry out regular servicing and calibration of consumer water meters. There is also need to curb illegal water consumption by carrying out periodic customer base audit by reconciling office consumer database with field connections through meter census.