Kirigi Kibunja founded Jiji Water Works Limited in 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya with the aim of offering permanent water and drainage solutions to Nairobi city and beyond. Based in Membley, Eastern bypass in the outskirts of Nairobi, Jiji Water Works is innovating and working to replace the traditional septic tank with a biodigester. The biodigester recycles sewage water that can be eventually used in flushing toilets in the home and also for farm irrigation.
When Kirigi quit his previous job, of selling construction stones, he did not envision that his company would be offering an array of services, beyond his initial biodigester. At the moment they deal in construction of biodigesters, concrete water tanks, sewage water treatment plants, grease traps for hotels, concrete drainage channels, drilling of boreholes, waterproofing solutions, construction of swimming pools and various plumbing works.
Jiji Waters has created employment opportunities in the construction space. On any given assignment, they work with 10-100 labourers depending on the size of the job. One of their long term goals is to ensure that they can fully bring on board some of the labourers to be part of the company. Kirigi prides his team as being highly experienced, with their skills ranging from business development, procurement, project management and administration. The operation base in Membley includes a workshop: where fabrication and pre-casting takes place, a management office: where all operations are coordinated and a sales office: where Jiji water works team interacts with customers.
Currently, they have downscaled to 3 permanent employees due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Kirigi states, “We had gone for ten months without making any sales. Our first job this year was in August, but things are looking up, as we are starting to receive requests for our services.”
Their overall goal is to keep the environment clean by ensuring safe disposal of sewage. In addition, Kirigi believes in giving back to the community. The company supports various children’s homes in Nairobi, specifically in Nairobi and Thika.
Kirigi credits the Kenya Climate Innovation Center with providing the company with essential support in streamlining their business operations and adhering to government regulations. In addition, he has received marketing support through website development and branding.
In the future, Kirigi hopes the company expands further into the real estate sector by offering affordable housing.
He says, “ Poor housing infrastructure in major towns is one of the causes of inadequate sewage disposal and it affects the well being of the population.”
He also hopes to start manufacturing plumbing equipment to be supplied locally. Overall, Jiji Water Works lives by their mission statement ‘To provide lasting water solutions to our customers by pursuing business through innovation and advanced technology.’