• Kibengo said most water theft cases range from meter tampering, meter bypass, meter reversing, illegal re-connection and illegal connection.
• He said the company is also keen to reduce water losses to 20 per cent by 2032.
The Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit of the police has teamed up with the Taita Taveta Water and Sewerage Company to end illegal water connections.
On Monday, the unit arrested three people suspected of being the masterminds behind the unscrupulous business in which the water firm has lost millions of shillings in non-revenue water.
Tavevo acting managing director Richard Kibengo said the unit, which was acting on a tipoff, arrested the suspects at Mwakingali estate on the outskirts of Voi town.
“They are believed to be among the people involved in water theft through illegal connections in this estate. The unit has disconnected water pipes that were illegally connected,” he said.
The team, Kibengo said, has investigated and disconnected 55 illegal water connections in the region.
Most water theft cases range from meter tampering, meter bypass, meter reversing, illegal reconnection and illegal connection.
He said the joint team has prioritised the hunt to save the company millions of shillings.
Kibengo said at least 36 per cent of the water produced by the company is unaccounted for due to vandalism, unpaid bills and theft.
He warned that people involved in vandalism of water infrastructure will be brought to book.
“We are sending a clear message to anyone involved in vandalism or illegal connection. We will stop at nothing, until this vice is completely eliminated,” Kibengo said.
He said the company is also keen to reduce water losses to 20 per cent by 2032.
He said the government's move to categorise water and water infrastructure as critical will give a lifeline to water service providers who bear the cost of loss without proper structures to protect their assets.
“The police reinforcement is expected to boost the operation and make the prosecution process smooth. The three suspects arrested today will be arraigned to face charges of water theft,” Kibengo said.
He said concerted efforts to fight water theft through illegal connections and unpaid bills have helped the water firm record an increase in revenue since the beginning of this year.