July 20, 2013
Residents of Eldoret in Kenya are up in arms following a decision by a water company in the town to increase its tariffs.
The locals termed the reasons advanced by Eldoret Water and Sanitation Company (ELDOWAS) to increase it water tariffs unfounded.
In a effort to remedy the situation, the Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry Uasin Gishu county branch chairman Charles Mose have asked (ELDOWAS) to rescind its decision of hiking the tariffs.
Mose said it was wrong for the company to increase tariffs and yet it was not giving quality and effective services to the water consumers in the town and its environs.
According to the new rates announced by the company management, water consumers will pay an additional Sh 8 per cubic meter with effect from this month.
Mose said the reasons given by the company over its decision to hike the tariffs were not justified owing to constant water shortages being experienced by consumers in the area.
He said the firm continues to levy standing charges to consumers even when they have not received the commodity in their tapes for one week, a situation he observed has forced them to improvise other ways of getting water.
“We will not allow the company to arbitrary increase the water tariffs at will without consulting all stakeholders in the sector as the move will hurt the investors and consumers alike,” he said.
But the company chief executive officer Reuben Tuwei defended their move to hike the commodity’s tariffs and asked consumers and the business community to cooperate on the matter.
He said the cost of maintaining equipment used in the generation and distribution of water to the consumers has rises drastically in the recent past, a move that has forced them to increase the tariffs.
“We have no option but to increase the water tariffs if the consumers expect us to offer quality and efficient services to them,” stated Tuwei in Eldoret town.
He assured consumers that there would be no more cases of acute shortage of the commodity as being experienced in several estates in the town and its environs.
ELDOWAS last changed its water tariffs in 2010 and have been anticipating in taking up delopment loans to enable it build more dams to increase production in the region.
Currently the town has been facing acute water shortage due to increased population that now stands at close to 600,000 people.
Chebara dam in Elgeyo Marakwet County which is the only source of water for the town has a production of 36,400 cubic meters per day contrary to the town’s demand of 46,000 cubic meters.
Lake Victoria North Water Services Board is said to be in plan to help the company build Kipkaren dam near Eldoret airport to produce about 10,000 cubic metres daily to address the shortage.
Elegerini dam near Kapataget will also be rehabilated to produce 9000 cubic metres since at the moment it serves as a storage facility.