The Kisumu Water and Sewerage Company has spent more than sh 500,000 to replace stolen water meters in Kisumu city this year alone.
Kiwasco Managing Director Thomas Odongo says an estimated 163 meters have been stolen in the last year and the number could be higher as some cases are not reported.
In a press statement to newsrooms today, the Kiwasco Managing Director has said most of the water meters have been stolen in estates such as Lolwe, Nyalenda, Manyatta, Obunga and Robert Ouko junior and senior which are the hot spot areas.
He says the thefts of water meters has increased in the last three months, with more than 70 households in the city targeted during that period.
He says brass meters that have cast-iron boxes are being targeted during such vandalism, adding that these have a high resale value.
Odongo has however quick to point out that the company is determined to curb the thefts resulting to financial losses and will soon be moving toward installing plastic meters throughout the city.
“We are looking at replacing all meters with plastic above-ground meters. These meters have no resale value in the public domain,” Odongo said.
The Managing Director has spoken following the arrest of one suspect in connection to vandalism and stealing of two meters in Lolwe estate yesterday.
He says the company has now resorted to alerting the police about the spate of water meter thefts which is a serious crime, adding that this is costing the company huge losses both capital investment and recurrent expenditure.
“The cost to the company to replace one stolen water meter is sh 3000 which is an amount the company does not budget for,” he adds.
Odongo urges the customers to report any cases of meter theft through any of the communication channels that it has provided.
“We need to work together in order to protect our water,” he said. “If you report a case of stolen meter, the company has a cash reward of Ksh 10,000 for you”,he further says.
He further says theft of water meters is one of the contributors of Non-Revenue water that the company is grappling with and bringing the culprits to books will see it save on the losses currently being incurred.