Factors that influence revenue collection in the view of expanded operations of NWSC beyond purely urban areas
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The study investigated the factors affecting revenue collection in view of expanded operations at NWSC beyond urban areas. It explored service coverage, non-revenue water, metering ratio, staffing, revenue collection efficiency, and its relationship with revenue collection. The research methodology used a descriptive survey design and a self-administered questionnaire was used as the data collection instrument. They were administered to employees identified through stratified random sampling Correlational and descriptive statistics through Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) were used to analyze data and present the findings of the study. The study found out that service coverage had no statistical relationship with revenue collection. The study also found a moderate negative relationship (r=-0.584) between NRW and total revenue collection meaning that the higher the NRW, the lower the total revenues generated by the water service centers. The study also found a moderate positive relationship (r=0.421) between the metering ratio and total revenues. The study revealed a moderate positive relationship (r=0.202) between collection efficiency and total revenue collection. Finally, the study found a weak negative relationship (r=-0.161) between SPI and total revenues. It was concluded that more targeted resource allocation is therefore required to improve water coverage in order to improve on the revenues generated by the water service centers and by extension improve the water service delivery within the country. It was also clear that a high level of Non-Revenue Water (NRW) threatens the sustainability of the majority of water service centers in the country since they are generating revenue from far much less water compared to production while operation and maintenance expenditure continues to rise. It was also concluded that the high level of non-functioning meters and little regard to the impact of metering on revenues by water service centers was a concern to the sector in the pursuit of commercial and financial sustainability since the study pointed to a positive relationship between metering ratio and revenue generation. Effective collection systems and high revenue collection rates among the water service centers in the Country were commendable. Finally, the low number in the overall staff productivity index was indicative of high staff efficiency among the water service centers in the Country. The study recommended that Utility managers and all the other players in the sector should understand how different operational parameters influence revenue collection by water service centers. It was also recommended that water service bodies should therefore ensure that water service centers develop realistic investment plans targeted to achieve a progressive increase in coverage; paying tribute to the fact that access to safe water in adequate quantity is a human right entrenched in the Constitution. Water service bodies should target universal consumer metering, aggressive meter replacement programmes, adoption of accurate bulk measuring devices at production and major distribution points in order to minimize the losses. It was also recommended that water service bodies should reinforce water service centers’ efforts towards 100% metering through the provision of earmarked funds in tariffs. Water service centers should strive and maintain this trend of a low SPI since the study revealed a high SPI resulting from high staffing levels impact negatively on total revenues.