KENYA – Britam General Insurance and World Vision have launched a water insurance innovation that seeks to enhance the sustainability of rural water projects.

Britam will finance repairs of water pumps, borehole equipment and generators installed by World Vision under a deal that seeks to ensure continuity of the humanitarian organisation’s projects and improve water access for rural communities.

The innovation, which is the first of its kind in the country, was conceptualized by World Vision and will be serviced by Britam in Kenya. 

It will shield communities from inconveniences caused by the sudden failure of mechanized water projects through an insurance cover.

World Vision’s Director for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Kenya Enock Oruko said the insurance cover would cushion local communities from the high cost of repairs for machines like pumps and generators.

“Most water projects usually function well when they are still being managed by private, non-governmental organizations and other agencies that supported their establishment. 

“But once they are handed over to communities, many collapse as beneficiaries may be unable to afford maintenance costs involving repairs or replacement of malfunctioning parts,”

“This is a major challenge affecting rural water projects, so we conceptualized the idea of a water insurance that would cushion communities from the high cost of repairs. 

“We then searched for an insurer that was willing to take up the challenge and develop the product. Britam came through,” added Oruko

Under the deal, premiums will be calculated at 0.75 percent of the total amount of the insured components of the water source, with the minimum charge being KSh15,000 (US$150).

Rural communities will get the funds to pay for the insurance from revenues collected by water user committees who usually sell water and manage boreholes on behalf of communities they serve.

Britam said four communities in Nakuru using boreholes that serve over 6,000 people have already taken up the cover.

Four water projects – using boreholes that serve over 6,000 community members in the Wema area of Nakuru County (Wema) – have already paid the premiums and taken up the water insurance cover. They include: Chepkulul, Mbogoini, Marana and Tuyotich.

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.