Water services relates to the provision of the supply of water. You have the resource and now you want to supply it for use. Under our traditional system, the service is purely domestic but we want to move beyond this domestic service.; Section 49 requires the Minister to formulate a National Water Services Strategy with the following objects
(a) It shall put in place arrangements to ensure that at all times there is in every area of Kenya a person capable of providing water supply;
(b) The strategy shall design a programme to bring about an extension of sewerage to every centre of the population in Kenya. The strategy shall contain details of existing water services and the number and location of persons who are not being provided with the basic supply of water and basic sewerage. It will also contain an investment programme and a time frame.
Under Section 51 the Minister is required to establish water service Boards and the Water Services Board is responsible for the efficient and the economical provision of water services. The Minister has established 7 Water Service Boards, one in each area.
Section 56 provides that no person shall provide water services to more than 20 households or shall supply more than 25,000 litres of water a day for domestic purposes without a licence. It is an offence to supply water without a licence.
Only a Water Services Board may apply for a licence to provide water. The services authorised by the licence shall be provided by an agent of the Board known as Water Services Provider and the Board itself is prohibited from directly providing water to consumers unless it is not possible to find an agent.
A water services provider is defined as a company a non-governmental organization or other person providing water services under an agreement with the licensee. It is for these reasons that local authorities have been forming companies to supply water services. The licence is to be granted by a regulatory body which is known as a Water Services Regulatory Board and its function is to issue the licence and determine standards for the provision of services to consumers. These boards and the providers are to be regulated by the Water Services Board, regulation is removed from the Minister.