Commercialization and management of waste supply and sanitation services in the Kenyan urban areas: a case of Mavoko municipality
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Commercialization of water supplies and sanitation services, was initiated by the Kenyan government in 1986 by producing a session paper that stipulated the necessary measures to achieve these objectives and in 1987, the required institutional set-up. The government through various policy papers and development plans expressed its commitment to improve water and sanitation services by decentralizing and running the facilities on commercial basis. Such acknowledgement was essential for the good health on which personal well being and national productivity and wealth creation depends. For these benefits to be fully realized, the water and sanitation facilities provided must function continuously, effectively and to their full capacity. Poor management coupled with inadequate operation and maintenance has led to more than a half the water supply being unaccounted for in many towns in the republic. In parts of these towns served by public supply, wastage is high and the tariffs are fixed arbitrarily without consideration of consumers and costs. By contrast, residents of these areas most who are poor remain largely unsaved by public supply and forced to pay the market price for this insufficient and unsafe water from private vendors uncertified providers. The price is often 10 to 20 times higher than that charged to users connected to the public water supplies. This research project was conducted within Mavoko Municipality and was targeting all the residents, commercial entities industries pastoralists/farmers and employees of the Municipal Council of Mavoko. Sampling was through systematic sampling for the residents and various customers and stratified random sampling for the council's employees. The data collection tools were interviews as well as questionnaires which contained both closed ended and open ended questions administered through personal contacts, where the researcher dropped and picked them after three days to allow the respondents' time to fill them. These questionnaires were then edited and the data collected analyzed using the SPSS computer package. The researcher expected to come up with a research project that was to provide an in- depth analysis of the issues under investigation for use by different industry stakeholders such as the Council, the Government, as well as future researchers and scholars. The research found out that the process of commercialization has not been finalized within Mavoko Municipal Council and hence recommends that the process be carried out to its completion. For the success of effective commercialization, Mavoko Water department, which has moved to form a company, must plan for the provision of adequate portable water, critically evaluate staff with the purpose of having qualified management and operational staff, come up with organizational structure that was to allow for future expansion and have a proper coordination of water activities in line with the modem management practices, and control the available water resources and revenue that accrues from it. The department must also have adequate tariff design system that was to ensure financial autonomy of the organization, conserve water resources and have socially acceptable and affordable tariff.