WSUP Kenya awarded grant from The Stone Family Foundation and VOx Impuls to support capacity development for water service providers

Themes: Customer experience Utilities Water
Countries: Kenya Kenya-local

WSUP Kenya has been awarded a co-funded grant by The Stone Family Foundation and VOx Impuls to validate and strengthen the delegated management model to increase access and develop the capacity of water service providers.

The project began in April 2024 and will run until September 2025 in Kisumu and Naivasha. With the support of these two co-funders, WSUP will work with Kisumu Water and Sanitation Company (KIWASCO), Naivasha Water and Sanitation Company (NAIVAWASCO), and Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB).

To accelerate residents’ access to piped water, the project will focus on strengthening systems to effectively implement delegated management models and improve service delivery. It will emphasise capacity building and engagement to unlock regulatory, financing, and performance challenges. The capacity development initiatives will involve comprehensive training programmes, knowledge-sharing platforms, and hands-on support to enhance the operators’ technical expertise, operational efficiency, and customer engagement strategies.

“Support from the Stone Family Foundation and VOx Impuls will greatly help enhance the professionalisation of master operators, leading to increased access to piped water and improved efficiency. Through collaborative engagements with the Regulator and public utilities, the project will focus on capacity development initiatives tailored to the needs of the operators, thus empowering them to efficiently manage resources, optimise infrastructure, and enhance service delivery mechanisms,” said Emily Kirigha, WSUP Kenya’s Interim Country Manager.

WSUP will collaborate closely with KIWASCO to supplement ongoing efforts to improve coverage and water access. To demonstrate scale, WSUP will partner with NAIVAWASCO to implement delegated management and private operator models to foster sustainable service delivery.

WSUP’s implementing partner, Rural Water Management Solutions (RUWASCO), will lead the support of the professionalisation of six small-scale, semi-autonomous water service providers who have been delegated the responsibility of providing services to low-income neighbourhoods.

“We are happy to support WSUP, which shares our commitment to pioneering innovative solutions to entrenched problems while working constructively with key stakeholders to be successful. By focusing on the role that market-based solutions and capacity building can play to increase access to water, we believe this project can drive meaningful change in Kisumu and Naivasha, and hopefully beyond,” said Mr. John Stone, Chairman of the Stone Family Foundation.

By fostering accountability and transparency, the master operators build trust with stakeholders, attract investment, and accelerate the pace of water connection expansion. Professionalising water service providers through capacity development is a win-win. It increases access to clean, safe water and ensures the long-term sustainability of the water supply system for the communities they serve.