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Kabuku Water Project-Kenya, Sustainable productive use of water


The Kabuku water supply is a pumped system. Water from a spring is pumped 2 km up to a reservoir tank; from there it flows by gravity through a 15-km distribution network to 300 yard and house connections serving about 1,800 people and three public tapstands serving 700 people. The household connections supply over 50 litres per person per day. Kabuku is a self-help project, completed in 1979. It provided some water for nine years thereafter, before failing in 1988. Later, the group members obtained support from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) for redesign, rehabilitation, development of management systems and training. By 1993, the project was fully operational. Kabuku now provides an example of strong financial management. Through metering, effective pricing and collection, the income is reliable. That reliable income enables the system to work well, supplying water to everybody. Its annual income averages US$11,000 and annual operation and maintenance expenditure averages US$9,000. This surplus goes towards replacement and extension of the infrastructure: for example, it was recently used to enlarge the reservoir tank. (extract from WSP Field Note N.13)