Reducing water waste to help the environment and the bottom line
While working in water service providing, Joab Amollo began to notice over time the amount of water that was being wasted in the production process. Through leaks, poor metering, and problems with data handling, he found that an average of 50% of water typically gets lost and becomes “non-revenue water.”
Amollo consequently saw an opportunity and decided to create Wide Technologies- a company dedicated to providing both products and consultancy to reduce non-revenue water. While products include more accurate meters and pressure management tools, Amollo believes in the importance of proving meters with “purpose and guidance.” Thus, the company couples these products with consultancy and assistance with data management in order to provide a holistic service to clients.
Soon after founding the company, Amollo partnered with Beatrice Adera to further their operations. However, they found that their biggest struggle was in procuring financing. According to Amollo, the fact that water service providers (WSPs) have such high amounts of non-revenue water means that many of them are incurring financial losses. As a result, many commercial banks do not want to fund enterprises in this sector due to perceived risks; ironically, though, Wide Technologies is an enterprise that helps to boost profits through reducing losses.
In addition to benefiting companies’ bottom line, Wide Technologies has a positive impact on the environment. The most obvious challenge being addressed is water conservation, as more conservation can ultimately provide more people with water. Additionally, the firm’s actions help to conserve energy. According to Amollo, 60-70% of the expenditure of water providers goes towards electricity. By reducing water losses, Wide Technologies can also make production more energy-efficient.
Due to their innovative solution to a lesser-known yet serious environmental problem, Wide Technologies was accepted into KCIC recently. So far, Amollo states that the company has already benefited from access to networks and increased publicity. For instance, by attending a Water Dialogue organised by KCIC, Amollo was able to make important contacts for new clients. They also will benefit from KCIC’s ability to finance their project, as that has been their greatest hurdle in launching their business.
Thus far, the startup company has been able to create temporary employment opportunities for the community. As they expand to bigger clients with the help of KCIC, they hope to offer more permanent positions. Furthermore, while most of their clients have been water service providers (WSPs), there is also the possibility to expand into non-water sectors. For instance, Wide Technologies has been working with a sugar company to help them reduce their water waste in the production and storage of their product. Ultimately, Amollo believes that KCIC will be a valuable resource to further develop his business into these new ventures.
By Alise Brillault