Water gets expensive in Nairobi

February 20, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 20 – Water tariffs for Nairobi are set to go up, should the Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB) approve proposed new rates at a meeting next week.

Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company Managing (NWSC) Director Francis Mugo said on Friday that it had proposed new charges to be sanctioned by the regulator.

“The rates were last adjusted in 1996 (and have remained so) despite the changes in (operational) costs,” he said, explaining that WASREB had already held two meetings to review the proposed rates.
The Board is mandated with regulating water supply, consumption, and tariffs.

Mr Mugo explained that NWSC came up with the new rates which were forwarded to the parent Athi Water Services Board. The two bodies then present the proposals to the regulator.

“They (WASREB) don’t just accept what we give them. They actually go out and interview the consumers on what is the most comfortable price,” he said.

Meanwhile, the company has launched a Water Saving Campaign for Nairobi residents aimed at reinforcing efforts by the water company to ensure residents have enough water to meet basic needs during this period when it is scarce.

“Although  the water rationing program remains successful in ensuring that each customer can get a little of what is available, there is urgent need to step up wise water use practices in households, schools, institutions and even in our factories,” he said.

Athi Water Services Board Chief Executive Lawrence Mwangi said unplanned rapid urbanisation and settlement had left the city’s water supply stretched.

“Currently we need 650,000 cubic metres of water in a day, but what we are getting 440,000 cubic metres,” he said.


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