Coast region county govts in Sh1bn water bill arrears

February 2, 2016
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Speaking on Tuesday while he opened the third Water, Electricity and Power Expo, Wamalwa said the companies’ arrears have hit Sh1 billion leading to frequent water disconnections in the region/FILE
Speaking on Tuesday while he opened the third Water, Electricity and Power Expo, Wamalwa said the companies’ arrears have hit Sh1 billion leading to frequent water disconnections in the region/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2 – Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has urged water companies owned by County governments in the coastal region to pay their hefty water bills dating back to July 2013 to avoid disconnections in the future.

Speaking on Tuesday while he opened the third Water, Electricity and Power Expo, Wamalwa said the companies’ arrears have hit Sh1 billion leading to frequent water disconnections in the region.

He said in December the county governments and the Coast Water Services Board (CWSB) signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on how the arrears will be paid and urged water companies to adhere to the agreements so as to avoid disconnections in the future.

“From December 2015, the county governments through the water companies and as a result CSWB did bulk disconnections and we have been able to sort out the issue and the water in Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale counties have been reconnected. However it is important that they adhere to agreements to avoid inconveniences,” he said.

He urged countrywide consumers to pay for the water bills promptly so as the ministry generates revenue that is required to meet the cost of maintenance and production of safe water for domestic use.

The current water coverage in the county is 56 percent while the sewerage coverage is 22 percent.

Under the Sustainable Development Goal No.6 adopted in the United Nations Assembly in September, 2015, it is projected that every country will have achieved universal access to water and sanitation to all by 2030.

For us to achieve this, and based on the National Water Master Plan and Sector Investment Plan prepared in 2014, the country needs about Sh1.5 trillion between 2016 and 2030 which amounts to Sh100 billion annually against the current budget allocation of about Sh40 billion.

“In order to address the deficit the government has decided to explore other financing options where the private sector will play a key role in the sector development. These financing options will include commercial financing and Public Private Partnerships (PPP). In future we plan to have some of the viable water service providers float bonds in the Nairobi Stock Exchange to raise funds for utility capital development,” Wamalwa said.

The water, electricity and power expo opened its doors to over 4000 delegates in Nairobi that brings together over ten African countries for the three day event.

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