Davis & Shirtliff

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Davis & Shirtliff
Privately held company
  • Water
  • Energy
Founded1946; 73 years ago (1946) in Nairobi, Kenya
FounderEddie Davis & Dick Shirtliff
Area served
Key people
  • Water pumps, swimming pool equipment, water treatment equipment, irritation equipment, generators
BrandsDayliff, iDayliff, Bioliff
Number of employees
  • 700 (2017)

The Davis & Shirtliff is a supplier of water related equipment in the East African region. Founded in Kenya in 1946, business activities are focused on six principal product sectors - water pumps, boreholes, swimming pools, water treatment, generators, solar energy equipment and irrigation. The group operates through a network of national branches as well as regional subsidiaries in Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe and a partnership in Ethiopia.


The Davis & Shirtliff Group was founded in 1946 as a partnership between EC 'Eddie' Davis and FR 'Dick' Shirtliff after Dick Shirtliff purchased 50% of RH Paige & Co., a small plumbing and water engineering firm founded in 1926 and which was bought into by Eddie Davis in 1945.[1]

In 1947, it became a founding member of the Kenya Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors (KABCEC) and, in 1955, after purchasing two new plots of land and constructing new offices and workshops, moved its operations to its new site.

In 1965 it took delivery of the first consignment of pumps from Grundfos in Denmark and, in 1968, imported a consignment of Davey pumps from Australia. In 1982 the range of Grundfos products was expanded to include solar pumps.

1985 saw the appointment of Butech Limited as the Mombasa distributor of their products and the commencement of fibreglass filter production. In 1992, the group & Shirtliff purchased a 20% shareholding in Butech Limited; which was finally bought out in 2000, becoming the Mombasa Branch of Davis & Shirtliff.

In 1993 they imported their first Linz pumps from Pedrollo, Italy.

In 1995 they introduced the 'Pump Centre' and the establishment of a countrywide range of dealers. 1995 also saw the opening of a Branch in Eldoret.

Subsidiaries opened in Kampala and Dar-es-Salaam in 1996 and 1998 respectively.

The business has recently expanded. Throughout the first decade of the millennium, Davis & Shirtliff opens branches and subsidiaries in Lusaka; Kigali; Nakuru[2] and Arusha; Zanzibar and Kitwe; Malindi; Addis Ababa, Mwanza and Diani; and, Juba in, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 respectively, thereby expanding the distribution of its products and its consumer base. In 2001, Davis & Shirtliff was appointed the regional distributor for Pedrollo Pumps. In 2003, the firm's solar division was established as a regional distributor for Shell Solar. Also, in 2004, it became a Certikin distributor and, in 2005, was appointed as a Lister Petter engine generator distributor for the region.

Community work[edit]

The company assists needy institutions to obtain water supplies. Funding for community activities is largely provided through an annual contribution from the company and its staff. Business partners are also involved and Grundfos has been supportive of the group’s activities through the donation of money, equipment and supplies.[3]

Davis and Shirtliff has also partnered with Kenya Airways on a water project in Runana.[4]


  1. ^ Ombuor, Joe (14 April 2008). "East Africa: Davis And Shirtliff - Keeping the Water Dream Alive". The East African Standard (Nairobi). Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  2. ^ Mwai, Elizabeth (12 May 2006). "Kenya: Davis & Shirtliff Now in Nakuru". The East African Standard (Nairobi). Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Davisandshirtliff.com". Archived from the original on 2015-06-14. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  4. ^ "Kenya Airways :: About Kenya Airways/ Corporate Social Responsibility". Retrieved 2010-10-01.

External links[edit]