Abstract for: Functionality and financial implications of professional maintenance services for rural water service delivery in Kenya

Despite decades of work and billions of dollars spent installing water infrastructure in Sub Saharan Africa, functionality rates remain low and 40% of people still lack basic drinking water access. However, preventive maintenance may be a key to increasing water access while reducing premature failures and perpetual replacement costs. This study investigates the application of professional maintenance services in Kitui County, Kenya. Using data from an audit of water infrastructure in the county, including breakdown frequencies and durations, as well as operational and financial data from a professional maintenance service provider, this study models the functionality rates of piped water systems under the current status quo approach of community-based management and government repair interventions and compares them to the functionality rates achieved through the application of professional maintenance services. The functionality and financial effects of scaling maintenance services throughout the county are investigated.