WatBus – Improving the Business Development of Rural Water Utilities in Kenya -project aims to support rural utilities of Kenya in expanding their services and operations in a self-sustained and sustainable manner. As an outcome of the project, a roadmap for Business Development Planning of Medium-sized Water Utilities will be developed. WatBus project is a part of Aalto University’s course on Sustainable Global Technologies.

Implementation of the project will happen through background studies, field trip to three Kenyan rural utilities and development of the roadmap. Project consists of the following outputs:

  • Common practices and issues of medium-sized WU’s are identified
  • Future needs and challenges of the target utilities are identified
    • Kamwene Water Project, Tharaka Nithi county
    • Sipili Water Project, Laikipia county
    • Sirimon Water Project, Laikipia county
  • Collected information is analyzed, compiled and shared

Impact of the project in rural Kenya will be increased access to water supply services by enhancing the capacity of water utilities. Kenya is facing a water crisis and 19 million people lack access to water. This is due to poor service level and coverage of the water utilities, especially in the rural areas. In order to become self-sustained, water utilities have to develop their operations and in a sustainable manner. Business development planning provides the utilities a comprehensive approach on developing their operations.

The project is implemented together with Water Sector Trust Fund (WSTF) as a part of their Joint 6 Programme (J6P), which promotes equal access to water services and basic sanitation and enhances water resources management in rural Kenya. In addition to Aalto University and WSTF, students from Kenya Water Institute (KEWI) will join the field trip to support the implementation.

Beneficiaries of the project consist of all stakeholders in the rural water supply. Direct beneficiaries are the target water utilities and their current and future customers, whom benefit from the improved quality and expanded coverage of the services. The project will also indirectly benefit the county authorities and WSTF by supporting their work in the water sector and providing an additional tool for supporting the development of medium-sized water utilities.

The watbus project is implemented in Spring 2018 by a project team of three Water Engineering students and one Design student. Throughout the spring, the project team will communicate about the progress in the established project blog. Final outcomes and impacts of the project will be presented and reported in May 2018.