Residents of Nairobi Will Start Paying Higher Rates For Water

The NCSWC Nairobi will raise the cost of the commodity for small households and residential apartments that consume less than six cubic metres (m3) monthly by a third to Sh45/m3 up from the current Sh34/m3 commodity prices and service

By The Weekly Vision

Residents of Nairobi City County will in the next few months be forced to fork out more money to access the most precious life-sustaining commodity, water. This development is expected to take effect any time from now after the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) applied to the regulator asking to raise tariffs citing the rise in the cost of delivering the precious commodity to residents.

In a gazette notice released on Friday last week, the Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB) said Nairobi Water, which is a fully-owned subsidiary of the Nairobi City County government, had applied for a tariff review. In part, it reads: “Notice is given to the general public that Nairobi Water which provides water services by authority of a license issued by WASREB has applied for a regular tariff review.” The tariffs, which are reviewed after every three years, will undergo public participation for scrutiny before being reviewed or approved for use by Wasreb for the next three-year cycle from the financial years 2022/23 to 2024/25.

The move is aimed at cushioning the poorest segment of the population who lack access to piped water and other water-starved areas of the city that rely on supply from bowsers and water kiosks for their daily needs

The NCSWC Nairobi will raise the cost of the commodity for small households and residential apartments that consume less than six cubic metres (m3) monthly by a third to Sh45/m3 up from the current Sh34/m3 commodity prices and service.  The move will hit households badly, households that are already facing the high cost of living driven by heavy taxation and supply shortages amid a sharp increase in the cost of food, fuel and cooking gas. Emerging details indicate that families who use more than 300m3 of water each month will pay Ksh. 77 for 80/m3 up from the current tariff of Ksh. 64 for the same quantity, while multi-dwelling units and gated communities are currently enjoying a subsidized tariff of Ksh. 53/m3 will now be paying Ksh. 67.

The biggest irony is the fact that NCWSC has reserved the lowest water rate increases for bulk water suppliers and water kiosks increasing tariffs by just Ksh. 2/m3 to Ksh. 32 from Ksh. 30 and to Ksh. 22 from Ksh. 20 respectively. This is aimed at cushioning the poorest segment of the population who lack access to piped water and other water-starved areas of the city that rely on supply from bowsers and water kiosks for their daily needs. This move means that should the tariffs be approved, some of the conditions attached for review by WASREB are that the water coverage in Nairobi will increase to 85 per cent of the city within three years from the current 82 per cent, improve water quality to 100 per cent from 91 per cent, and lower the ratio of water it supplies without deriving revenue from 41 per cent from 46 per cent.

The company wants to use part of the revenue from the higher tariffs to pay loans from lenders such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank of Ksh. 78.5 Million due for payment next year, Ksh. 78.1 Million due in 2024 and Ksh. 68.4 million in 2025.

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