Improving access to water (and sanitation) services in Kenya (estimated at 59 and 32%, respectively), is one of the country's commitments. However, although efforts to address the situation through a rigorous water sector reform have shown some improvements, challenges still persist. One key challenge is inadequate capacity of sector institutions to deliver on their mandates. In particular, high Non-Revenue Water (NRW) levels (averaging 45%) negatively affect financial viability of water utilities. Key stakeholders are currently collaborating to improve NRW levels. Through capacity development support, underlying issues have been addressed and service delivery improved. The case of Nakuru Water, Sewerage and Sanitation Company (NAWASSCO), where local and international partners are implementing an innovative NRW model has resulted in commendable gains, is described. The NRW pilot adopted an action research approach to implement the International Water Association methodology of reducing NRW to the local situation through a pilot (NAKA). Emerging best practices will be up-scaled to other areas within and beyond Nakuru. Geographic information system (GIS) and management information system (MIS) tools were developed to facilitate decision-making. The pilot resulted in marked reduction in NRW levels and increased revenue. It demonstrates that capacity, when properly developed and locally owned, can result in commendable development gains.

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