SPEECH BY KIWASCO MD DURING ISO RE-CERTIFICATION
I am pleased to welcome you all to this occasion that is celebrating our re-certification to ISO 9001:2008. This is a very important occasion for all of us at KIWASCO and we are glad that your Excellency found time to grace the occasion and celebrate this achievement with us. KIWASCO embarked on the journey of installing Quality Management Systems in the year 2011. We received certification then, and we were challenged to ensure that we retain it for 3 years. Your Excellency, if the continuous bi-annual surveillance audits find the systems wanting, the certificate can be withdrawn.
I am happy to report that, we not only successfully retained the certificate for 3 years, but have been re-certified by Kenya Bureau of Standard that our quality management systems still meets the ISO 9001:2008 standards. I applaud the staff of KIWASCO for their enthusiasm in embracing the concept of quality management systems and procedures. It is through teamwork that success has been achieved. Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen, the decision to pursue this path of installing quality management systems was informed by the desire to improve our service and therefore satisfy our customers expecctations. Since we installed these systems our customer satisfaction level has continued to improve year after year. The latest figures indicate that about 81% of our customers are fully satisfied with our services. There are still about 20% not fully satisfied and the challenge is to bring them into the satisfied bracket. In 2006, the Government, together with the French Development Agency (AFD) embarked on a programme of upgrading the water supply in Kisumu. The first phase commissioned in 2012, increased water treatment capacity to 44,000m3 to match the city’s water demand.
I am happy to announce, Ladies and Gentlemen, that the second phase completed in 2014 with the capacity of 36,000 m3, has permanently secured the water needs of Kisumu up to the year 2032. We are committed to supplying quality water that meets the needs of all our customers, meet regulatory requirements and conform to the requirements of the Quality Management Systems. Alongside the quality program, we have also recognized the need to move with the times. We have exploited ICT to bring our billing system to be at par with the best in the industry. This will ensure that bills are issued monthly and in a timely manner. In an effort to improve meter reading, we are currently piloting a digital meter reading program using SMART phones. This will improve billing accuracy and quality of meter reading. To improve our resilience as a utility, we recently submitted to an audit by the International Water Association for certification under Water Safety Planning.
Water Safety aims to map the risks to a utility from Source to Tap. This has run for 2 years and in May 2015, we were certified as water safety planning compliant. We shall continue to innovate and introduce interesting products that meet our customer’s expectations. Excellency, the fact that Kisumu Water is being ISO re-certified today gives me another completely different thrill. Kisumu is the third largest city in Kenya but is the second in Kenya to have its utility ISO certified after the capital City. This is an achievement we cannot take for granted. Cities the world over are generators of wealth and employment, incubators of innovation and creativity and offer prospects of a better life. Kisumu as a city is no different. One of the pillars of the Country’s vision is offering a better life to its citizens. For the city to achieve this mission, we must work together as actors to build a resilient city offering opportunity of a better life for its citizens. KIWASCO will be central in this agenda and the seeds that we have sown today, if properly nurtured will ensure that KIWASCO will properly support the “Kisumu of the future”. Excellency, the achievements that we have recorded to date have not been without challenges. Some we have overcome but some are still facing us.
Non-Revenue Water (that water that does not bring in revenue) is still a problem. We have bettered our operating systems with the help of international partners, but Kisumu is over 100 years old with an old network. Investment in rehabilitation will be required to maintain the loss at the required level. Rapid growth in the City in the last 7 years requires a deliberate effort to increase the coverage of both water and sewer distribution networks to fully meet the needs of the growing population. We are happy to report that we have drawn plans and are currently looking for resources to expand the network to areas currently underserved or served at all. Support by the County Government on this area will be desired. Energy costs consume about 20-25% of our revenue due to the nature of terrain in Kisumu where multiple pumping is required to deliver water to consumers. While we have migrated 50% of production to a gravity system, the other 50% which is still dependent on pumping is still costly. Whereas we have conducted energy audits and instituted an energy management program, successful pursuit of clean energy program by the County Government would provide us with a lasting solution.
Climate change and building a resilient utility is one of the top issues in our Company. Asset management, water demand and supply planning; security and emergency preparedness are important components of building resilience. We are proud to have been identified by UNEP and International Water Association as one of the three companies in East Africa, the other two being foreign companies to pilot a Flood & Drought Decision Support tool that will help the Lake Victoria Basin deal better with floods and drought. We trust that the tool will give us the knowledge and flexibility to anticipate and deal better with changing climate patterns. Excellency ..the past neglect in planning created huge informal settlements that your Government is now trying to streamline. KIWASCO however recognized that this segment of the population also deserves quality services. We therefore piloted, in 2006, a unique platform for service delivery in this area known as DMM. DMM helped kick cholera out of these informal settlements and we are proud to note that other companies both locally and internationally have copied it to help them deal with service delivery challenges. We will continue to improve on it and roll it out to peri-urban areas where individual metering are a challenge.
In conclusion, I wish to thank our Board, Management and staff for the hard work. Our key stakeholders, including the County Government for the unwavering support extended to KIWASCO and to all our guests for taking time off your schedules to attend this event. We promise to continue improving. Enjoy the rest of the evening. Thank you.