The Board of Directors and Senior Management went for a 3-day retreat at Sentrim hotel in Naivasha in the month of March 2021. The retreat was partly sponsored by Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Project (KIWASH). The main aim of the retreat was to take the new Directors through an induction of the company and key areas of focus was on effective Corporate Governance, update of the current strategic plan and Board Finance and Risk Management.

While officially opening the retreat, the Board Chairman Mr. Vinod Patel expressed his determination to make KIWASCO an A level company. He went ahead to explain that this could majorly be achieved through identifying skills and talents, not just identification of staff. The Chairman further used the theory of Golden Circle to help the audience understand the why’s, how’s and what’s of KIWASCO, better summarized as ‘purpose’. He appealed to the Board members to make this a priority.

Mr. Salmon Orimba, the CECM Water, Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources in the County Government of Kisumu talked about shareholder value and shareholder expectation. He had this to say, “The County expects the Board of Directors to steer the company to improve its performance through continuous review of performance, and putting in place measures for enhancing performance”. He added, “The Board should direct and guide in resource mobilization towards efficient and effective water service provision and expansion of the company. They should ensure good governance and accountability in management of the company.”

To achieve shareholder’s value, Mr. Orimba highlighted the County’s expected support to KIWASCO which is;

  • To enact and implement regulations, strategies and policies that promote growth of KIWASCO.
  • Allocate resources for rehabilitation, expansion and development of new water infrastructure.
  • Create a conducive environment for close working relationships with KIWASCO towards effective service provisions to the citizenry of Kisumu County.

The induction session then begun with Prof. Peter Kiriri taking the team through Effective Corporate Governance. He started with asking the Directors to reflect on why they were appointed as Board of Directors of KIWASCO. He emphasized on need to understand the functioning of the company, need of having Non-Executive Directors, pillars of Corporate Governance and concluded with strategies to adopt in order to achieve effective Corporate Governance.

The session on the 3rd strategic plan was handled by the Senior Managers. They presented on the 8 strategic priorities of the company; each handling what is relevant to them. The presentations gave the Directors a snippet of the company operations and broadened their understanding of the functionality and key responsibilities of the various Heads of Departments.

The famous Prof. George Achoki wrapped up the retreat by taking the members through Board Finance and Risk Management. This session was aimed at;

  • Enhancing the Directors’ skills in analyzing and interpreting the financial performance of the company,
  • Gain insights on performance and areas to concentrate on in the financial statements,
  • Develop the ability to interrogate financial statements and offer advice on prudent financial management.

This session was wide but necessary since it is key in the mandate of the Board of Directors. Prof Achoki took them through the principles of sound financial management, having an action plan after every board meeting, factors affecting revenue generation and the roles and responsibilities of the Directors.

In his closing remarks, the MD Thomas Odongo used Peter Drucker’s quote which says ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’. This simply means that the culture of a company always determines its success regardless of how effective their strategy maybe. To put it into perspective, he urged KIWASCO to form and adopt a culture that will see the company’s growth.

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